In the 2011 draft, Butler was selected by the Bulls with the 30th overall pick, beginning his NBA career. When he first entered the league, Butler did not have the athletic talent of James and Anthony, nor did he have the physical conditions of Durant and Wiggins.
Even at that time, Butler did not have a stable scoring method, and could only rely on defense in exchange for the trust of the coach, thus winning sporadic playing time. And without outstanding physical talent and outstanding scoring ability, it seems that Butler has long been doomed to become a superstar player in the future.
In the Bulls' six-year career, Butler completed an important "metamorphosis" - from averaging 8.5 points, 2.6 boards, 1.3 assists + 40.5% shooting percentage from the league to an All-Star forward with 23.9 points, 6.2 boards, 5.5 assists, and 45.5% shooting percentage.
After leaving the Bulls, whether it was the Timberwolves or Philadelphia - Butler, who looked at the average physical talent and did not have enough outstanding scoring ability, was not prepared to build a championship team with him as one of the absolute cores. In the end, Butler chose to join the Heat, who can give him a big contract (4 years and 142 million) and can also give him team status...
Heat period: "Playoffs" came online, Butler led the team to the Finals twice
In the four years since joining the Heat, Butler's individual performance in the regular season has been as low-key as ever. Compared to today's 30+ stars in the league, Butler has never averaged more than 25 points per game, and his highest year was only 22.9 points.
And the Heat also seem to be destined by Butler to be "low-key" genes, with 44-29 in the 19-20 season, ranking fifth in the East; 40-32 in the 20-21 season, sixth in the East; In the 21-22 season, under the background of the collective "crotch-pulling" of Eastern opponents, he barely ranked first in the East with 53 wins and 29 losses, which was difficult to squeeze into the top three in the West at that time.
The 22-23 season Heat finished 44-38, eighth in the East. Judging from the Heat's actual regular season performance and overall roster in recent years, almost no one thinks they have the strength to rush to the championship. But under Butler's leadership, this Heat rushed out of the East twice...
In the 20-year playoffs, Butler played many superstar performances, averaging 22.2 points, 6.5 boards, 6.0 assists, and 48.8% shooting per game, leading the Heat to sweep the Pacers 4-0 in the first round, the 4-1 "gentleman's sweep" of the Bucks in the second round, and the Green Kai 4-2 in the East finals, successfully reaching the Finals.
Compared with the 20-year playoff Heat reaching the Finals, this year's Heat championship journey is even less promising. Because the Bucks, Green Kai and other teams have grown in the past three years, their comprehensive strength has improved, and the Heat also injured Taylor Hiro and Oladipo, two important scorers, in the first round, resulting in a further decline in the overall strength of the team.
In this year's first round of the playoffs, under Butler's anti-heavenly play, the Heat won a big score of 4-1 "Black Eight" Bucks. The Knicks were easily eliminated 4-2 in the second round, and the Green Kai was defeated 4-3 in the Eastern Conference finals, and the Heat reached the Finals for the first time in three years...
Led the team to the finals twice, and only winning the championship can be regarded as a supergiant
However, even though Butler has led the Heat to the Finals twice, and has played superstars or even supergiants in the past two years. But in the hearts of many people, Butler is still not a league supergiant. After all, compared with superstars such as James and Curry, Butler lacks MVP, scoring champion, first-team and other regular season hard honor support.
Compared with superstars such as Wade and Leonard, there is less honor such as FMVP. It can be said that Butler, who is accustomed to "paddling" in the regular season so far in his career, has not received a decent top honor. The highest honor of the individual is only 1 second formation, 5 second defense...
In fact, according to Butler's playoff performance in recent years, he has already reached the super threshold. Compared to other superstars in the league, what he lacks is nothing more than influence and hard honor. If Butler had won an MVP early in his career, he might have become one of the league's supergiants.
However, MVP is unrealistic for Butler, who is accustomed to regular season "paddling", to beat those stars who average 30+ stars per game. For Butler today, the easiest and fastest way to become a league supergiant is to lead the team to a championship and get an FMVP.
Especially in this year's playoffs, Butler and the Heat can be counterattacked - all the way to the Bucks, Knicks, Green Kai, as long as they can beat the Nuggets in the Finals, then the Heat will become the first "black eight" team in NBA history to win the championship. And Butler can also rely on this gold championship and FMVP, like Nowitzki that year.
To sum up, from the eighth in the East to the finals, the Heat's topicality and legend are now enough, as long as Butler can lead the team to win the championship, then he will make up for the shortcomings in personal honor and influence, become the "king of counterattacks", and become a supergiant in the true sense of the league. Conversely, if the championship fails, then Butler will be another year of wasted efforts, and he will only become a stepping stone on Jokic's legendary road...