Butler’s excellence to be seen in the NBA playoffs

The basketball world has fallen more deeply in love with Luka Doncic lately and Jayson Tatum has certainly become something of a darling for fans and Ja Morant has been a big story for a while as have the Memphis Grizzlies and the extinction of Game 7 by the Phoenix Suns. will become a tradition.

But I sure hope everyone pays attention to what Jimmy Butler is doing in Miami because, for my money, he’s been the best player in the playoffs since they started.

And he did it kind of quietly and without fanfare and somehow that fits his personality and that of the Heat as a collective.

Watching him go for 41 points last night — his third game of 40-plus in the playoffs — was like an instructional video on how to dominate a game without racking up an hour of highlight videos.

Excellence underrated, it was.

What I love about Butler’s game, and have always loved, is that he knows how and when to assert himself, his sense of timing in a game is impeccable.

I don’t think anyone would call it “flashy” by any definition of the word, I probably would with “ruthless” in the best sense of the word and “methodical” as another descriptor.

Just the kind of great player I can appreciate and you should.

The NBA playoffs aren’t about flash or style; it’s about determination and getting the job done, but it has to be done. It’s long and hard work to become a champion and putting your head down and just going about your business is the way to win.

I don’t know if Butler and the Heat will end up winning a title, but they seem to have the personality, work ethic and sense of what’s important to get one.

Maybe they won’t – luck has a lot to do with the end result – but it was fun to watch him try.

Butler is the perfect type of playoff performer. It’s stable, not particularly spectacular but still deadly, and it goes about its business with minimal fuss but deadly success.

Just a pleasure to watch. I hope everyone enjoys what they see.

I don’t know how the holiday weekend is going to pan out – hope it doesn’t really include anything for you – but it will include Ye Olde Mailbag.

And if you love me — or even tolerate me — getting some stuff early might help me reach my goal.

Clicking askdoug@thestar.ca today to submit something moves this process forward.

Question for the dummies among you.

Are the Leafs at the point where they have to try and find the bold move or two — the DeMar-for-Kawhi, the fire-Case-hire-Nick — that really gets them going?

I get that the Raptors were light years ahead in 2018 over the Leafs right now and maybe that kind of surprising change can’t be done, but it seems to me that tinkering around the edges makes less sense in hockey today than in basketball then.

Changing the third or fourth line or the third group of defenders certainly seems necessary, but is this bold move worth it?

Of course, to make a huge roster and personality altering trade, it takes two and I have no idea if there’s another rough Leonard out there for the Leafs, but it looks like it would be worth the bother to investigate. Reading the CEO and Chairman’s comments yesterday sounded like they thought – rightly or wrongly – they weren’t that far off, despite history suggesting they didn’t even the “it” to get out of the first round with this central group.

If so – and I doubt it really is – maybe it’s time for that bold move that sends a clear and obvious message that something big is missing right now?

I haven’t worked on the NBA draft yet – there’s still over a month to go, which is fine on my books – but I paid some attention to the lottery last night, switching between her and the Blue Jays before the Heat-Celtics.

And I guess the Raptors did just fine.

If six of the top nine picks are heading to the Western Conference — including three of the top four — it would be logical to assume that’s where the balance of power among first-year players will rest next season.

I’m happy for my pals John Hammond and Jeff Weltman in Orlando to have gotten the top pick – two good men who deserve a break – but with Sacramento rising to join Houston and Oklahoma City in the top four, this should send the best talent at the other conference.

Can’t hurt here, can it?

Just saw this morning that FIBA ​​has seen fit to reaffirm its ban on the Russian and Belarus national teams for the time being and given that FIBA ​​rarely seems to do the right thing it should be noted that in this case, it is.

The biggest impact here is that Russia are now absent from the Women’s World Cup this summer in Australia and are replaced by Puerto Rico, a fairly good team emerging as Canada’s challenger for second best behind the United States in the FIBA Americas.


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