The NBA Play-In tournament this season has been nothing short of entertaining. Even when the basketball might not be so great like during the second half of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves game, it still has kept fans on the edge of their seats. The first game on Friday between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls was no exception with the Heat and Jimmy Butler earning the right to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. In grabbing the No. 8 seed, the Heat made a little bit of bittersweet playoff history. They became only the third team in league history to finish with the eighth seed only a year after earning the conference’s No. 1 seed as per ESPN’s Stats&Info Twitter page.
The Miami Heat survive the play-in tournament.
Miami is the third team and first since the 2000-01 Pacers to be a No. 8 seed in the playoffs the year after being a No. 1 seed. pic.twitter.com/RUUi7dzAtF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 15, 2023
Last season the Heat earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before bowing out in seven games against the Boston Celtics. Now they have the unenviable task of trying to upset the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. Jimmy Butler was a catalyst down the stretch against the Bulls on Friday and he finished with 31 points, four rebounds and three assists.
On the season Butler was averaging 22.9 points per game, 5.9 9 rebounds, 5,3 assists and 1.8 steals with shooting splits of 53.9 percent shooting from the field, 35 percent shooting from three-point range and 85 percent shooting from the free-throw line. His field goal percentage was a career-high. Butler was limited this season due to injury but he appears to be in top-notch shape as the playoffs get underway.
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