NBA world reacts to Jimmy Butler’s Game 7 miss

Jimmy Butler, Jayson Tatum
Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler (22) shoots against Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals Friday, May 27, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The eyes of the sports world converged on Miami Sunday night for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and Jimmy Butler. 

Butler was the star that kept the Miami Heat in the game, but also the star that came up short in the final seconds that saw the Boston Celtics win 100-96. 

While Jayson Tatum and the Celtics have moved on and are now currently preparing for their NBA Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors, NBA analysts everywhere have debated the ending of Game 7 for days. 

With less than 20 seconds to go, Butler ran in transition and pulled up for a potential game-leading three. 

The shot fell off, the Celtics celebrated and the NBA world was in shock.

Since the game, analysts everywhere have given their take on Jimmy Butler’s shot that ultimately ended the game. 

“Live by Jimmy Butler, die by him.” said Undisputed host, Skip Bayless in a tweet after the game. “I have absolutely no problem with Jimmy taking that three for the lead. He doesn’t shoot many but he has made some clutch ones.”

On ESPN’s Monday morning show Get Up, Alan Hahn and the crew defended Butler’s decision.

“He had played the whole game. You’re looking at an opportunity to go to overtime with a tie, and (Butler said) I don’t want to play anymore. I want to win it right here” Hahn said. 

During Monday’s airing of First Take, Stephen A. Smith also defended the move saying “He had been making shots throughout the last two games or so. Remember, he went through a three-game stretch when he was only averaging nine points after averaging 35 in the first two games of this series.”

Not everyone agreed with Smith, Hahn or Bayless though. 

During FS1’s airing of First Things First, Chris Broussard acknowledged Butler’s heroic play, but ultimately disagreed with his decision. 

“Jimmy’s shot was a bad decision. It was the wrong play. But they’re only in that position bc Jimmy Butler was so great. He was great in Game 6, & in Game 7….Overall, he shot 18% from 3 this series.” Broussard said on Monday’s show. “He’s a great mid-range & driver. He had better options.” 

Jimmy Butler and the Heat Respond

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff stand on the sidelines during the first half of Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

While the basketball world has responded to Game 7 in droves, Jimmy Butler’s comments were short and succinct following the team’s season-ending loss. 

“My thought process was to go for the win….I missed the shot but I’m taking that shot.” Butler said in a press conference. “My teammates liked the shot that I took, so I’m living with it.”

Miami Heat head coach, Erik Spoelstra also defended his star player. 

“I love that about Jimmy. That was the right look, and I just thought as it was leaving his hand, I thought for sure that was going down. It was a good, clean look, definitely better than anything we could have designed. It was a shame it didn’t end that way.” Spoelstra said in his press conference. 

Regardless of whether the NBA world feels Butler was right to take the shot or not, the Miami Heat season has ended in disappointment. 

While their star in Butler put up some excellent performances in the conference finals, all eyes now turn to the NBA Finals to see if Boston or Golden State come out on top.