Q; Jimmy Butler was sublime, but this series also highlighted what has been the biggest frustration of this season: poor shooting. When they shoot well, especially from 3, this is a totally different team. Do you think this stretch is a fluke or are they finally returning to last year’s form? – Reuben, Davie.
A: This is the problem in the future. Is this shooting an average progression from what was abysmal regular season shooting? Or will there be a regression to the average of how they shot during the regular season? The fact that there is now more Duncan Robinson and less Victor Oladipo could keep the percentage higher (with all due respect to what Vic is going through). And Jimmy Butler just might be Dwyane Wade 2.0 when it comes to playoff three-point shooting that goes to another level. (I guess we’ll have to ask the Purple Shirt Guy in Charlotte about that.)
Q: Ira, you said Jimmy Butler’s performance in Game 4 was unprecedented in Heat history, how about Dwyane Wade’s performance late in Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals? – Ben, Plantation.
A: Unprecedented in terms of points. And it was. It wasn’t a ranking of the Heat’s greatest playoff performances. And unlike others, I still put that at the top of the all-time list, with that 2006 win over the Mavericks arguably the takeoff point for the Heat’s championship streak. I know others point to LeBron James in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals in Boston, but by then the Heat already had a Wade-led title. It may be unprecedented in many ways. For Jimmy Butler, Monday was unprecedented in terms of playoff scoring. Since bringing the Heat back from the depths of the NBA Finals, Dwyane has been unprecedented. And since rescuing the Big Three from ridicule and ruin, LeBron has had his unprecedented moment. Savor each in its unprecedented glory.
Q: It’s now official: This is the home of Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler. – Parag, Weston.
A: I assume it’s a duplex. Or you could say that AmericanAirlines Arena was the home of Dwyane Wade and the FTX/Miami-Dade/Kaseya Center is the home of Jimmy Butler. So beautiful, they named it twice (or three times or more).