Warriors veteran calls out Miami Heat star for poor shot selection at crucial point in game 7.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green showed little mercy to Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler after his Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference Final to the Boston Celtics last Sunday. The game came down to the wire, Boston holding onto a two point lead with 16 seconds on the clock, 98-96. Butler grabbed a defensive board, and drove up the court, and chose an open pull up jumper to take the lead, which came up short.
That miss proved to be the dagger on a remarkable season for the Heat, who came into the playoffs as the team with the best record in the East. It was also a tragic end for Butler, as his electrifying performances were key to Miami’s deep run in the postseason.
But for Draymond Green, who Butler would have faced in the Finals if that shot had found its way home, he said he was unimpressed with Butler’s shot selection in the key moment of the game. On his podcast The Draymond Green Show, the former Defensive Player of the Year held nothing back as he critiqued Butler’s performance.
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“I personally think that shot shouldn’t have been taken,” Green said. “And the reason I thought that it was a bad shot was because that shot right there, that was it. That was like — the shot simply said, ‘We’re either winning this, or we’re going home.’ And once the shot was missed, it just felt like somebody took a little staple or a little safety pin and just poked right at the balloon, and the air just left out of the building once that shot was missed, as opposed to Jimmy Butler, who we know is absolutely amazing at getting to the rim and even better at getting to the rim and getting fouled.
“And so you have a backpedaling Al Horford with a ton of space with your shooters running to fill it in, and you’re sitting at 35 points,” Green continued. “You’re at home, crowd’s into it. If Jimmy Butler drives that basketball and scores or if Jimmy even drives, the likelihood of you getting a foul call — and you’re on your home court, and Jimmy’s great at getting fouled — is significantly higher. And so if Jimmy drives that basketball and he scores, or he gets fouled, and the game is tied, all of the pressure then turns to the Boston Celtics.”
Regardless of how you feel about his final shot selection, nobody can deny the impact Butler has had this year on the Miami organization. It will be interesting to see how he and the Heat bounce back after such a heartbreaking defeat.