In a recent interview after the game, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talked about his team and how he defines what a true “max player” does for his team. One of the reporters asked Spoelstra whether Jimmy Butler is a max player based on the fact he didn’t have a couple of great games lately in terms of shooting percentage.
Butler is currently the best player on the Heat who are now third in the eastern conference with a 25-9 record, which is something many NBA analysts didn’t expect. One of the critical parts of their success is Jimmy Butler and his versatility on both ends of the floor. Spoelstra said people these days are too focused on stats and have no real idea what a true max player brings to the table.
“I think that is what young players should learn coming into the league is what max player truly means. It’s not about stats, and it’s not about that final number on the box score. It’s not whatever 2k numbers you can get. It’s about how your team functions and if it’s winning because of a player.”
Butler signed a big four-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers worth $140 million. After his short tenure with the Sixers, the Miami Heat made a trade for Butler that involved four teams. Spoelstra said Butler’s impact both on and off the floor is something that the organization sees the value in, and it’s something that can’t be tracked as a stat.
“There is no debate about this, he is having an incredible impact on our winning on our bottom line, and that is why we chased him as a max player. That should be the definition from here and out, but It’s clouded, and too often, it becomes about stats and people that pile up a bunch of stats. Even at a younger age, but they are empty stats, and they don’t impact winning.”
Butler is having an excellent season for the Miami Heat currently averaging 20.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. He is still one of the best defensive players in the league, averaging two steals per game, and his ability to guard several positions is a real asset for the Heat. The Heat is looking good, and if they remain healthy, they could be a dangerous opponent for any team in the league.
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