Jimmy Butler is the 76ers’ Key to Success

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 21: Jimmy Butler of the United states looks on during the final match of the Men's basketball between Serbia and United States on day 16 at Carioca Arena 1 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

On November 12th, the Philadelphia 76ers traded for  Jimmy Butler, just 13 games into the 2018-19 season. Butler has proved to be the missing piece for this young Philadelphia team, a steady presence on both ends of the court who also provides much-needed leadership. While this was apparent throughout the season, it has really come to the fore during Philadelphia’s playoff run. Butler has repeatedly shown he can step up when the team most needs it. He put up 25 points, six rebounds and eight assists to force game 7 against Toronto. Butler continues to prove key to the 76ers’ success.

Jimmy Butler is the 76ers’ Key to Success

Proven Scorer

Philadelphia is a team with numerous offensive options, but none are able to create their own shot better than Butler. Averaging around 19 points on 46% shooting during these playoffs, he is able to score in a number of ways. He is consistent from midrange and particularly effective in the mid-to-low post. He attacks the rim well and is successful at drawing foul calls in the process. While not the most consistent shooter from three-point range at 29%, he always seems to hit them when most needed, including two game-winning step-back threes in the first two weeks of his 76ers tenure. Playing on a team with offensive juggernauts such as Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris, Butler’s ability to create his own shot helps elevate his team on offence, and is vital to the success of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Defensive Prowess 

Jimmy Butler is one of the NBA’s best defenders, a welcome addition to a team that was already a top defensive team. Philadelphia already features defensive talent Ben Simmons, as well as DPOY candidate Embiid. Butler is often tasked with guarding the opponents best player, currently matched up against Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. Butler is also able to switch and guard all five positions fairly successfully. A four-time All NBA Defensive player, Butler’s ability to guard league-best players has proved crucial to their playoff run thus far.

Lead By Example

There has been much debate over the past seasons as to Jimmy Butler’s mentality. Whether or not he was a good teammate or a locker-room killer. This was exacerbated by situations in both Chicago and Minnesota, the latter of which ended with the infamous ‘Jimmy and the third-string guys’ game. However, since joining the 76ers, Butler has proved to be both a mentor and leader to their young stars. The results have been tenfold, with the team really coming together, led by Butler’s play and the energy he brings. Furthermore, his experience in the playoffs has helped push him to a new level in this Philadelphia run. He keeps all of his teammates engaged, and his will to win is unrivalled. This is necessary for a long playoff run, which is what the 76ers are aiming for.

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