Basketball

Jimmy Buckets: Jimmy Butler’s 2021-22 Season

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Image for Jimmy Buckets: Jimmy Butler’s 2021-22 Season

Momma, there goes that man.

Following arguably Jimmy Butler’s best season of his career, Butler bagged himself a massive four-year $184 million contract extension. What will his next season look like alongside another veteran star in Kyle Lowry?

Finishing top 10 in MVP voting is never something to scoff at; Butler averaged 21.5 PPG, 7.1 APG, 6.9 RPG, and 2.1 SPG, while shooting a career best 49.7% from the field in the 2020-21 season.

Will Heat fans see these numbers fall with new additions Lowry and P.J. Tucker?

Statistics

Playmaking

Butler saw a career high in assist numbers last season, averaging 7.1 APG. This was the team high, as Bam Adebayo was next in line averaging 5.4 APG.

Fans might see Kyle Lowry taking the reigns as the team’s assist leader, pushing Butler to transition to a more scorer-focused role. Over the last three seasons, Lowry has averaged 7.8 APG.

With the lack of play-making point guards on the roster last season, Butler had to step up into a facilitator role with the Heat. Now, with Lowry starting at point guard, Butler won’t need to be the primary ball-handler.

Rebounding

Another career high category, Jimmy Butler averaged 6.9 RPG, only behind star center, Bam Adebayo who averaged 9 RPG. Will the additions of P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris lighten the load for Jimmy?

Tucker averaged a career low 3.9 RPG last season, however, this average was split between the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks. The Rockets, where he averaged 4.6 RPG, were notorious for their small ball lineups, much like the Heat.

In addition to this, Tucker averaged 6.6 RPG the previous year with Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela surrounding him.

Fans should expect Butler’s rebounding to dip slightly playing alongside another starting rebounder in Tucker, but not enough to show a drastic change considering how aggressive he’s been on the boards more recently.

Scoring

Despite adding another 15+ PPG scorer to the mix, don’t expect Butler’s scoring to drop. Having a playmaking guard who can both score and dish the rock can do wonders for a team. The world saw it in 2018 when the Toronto Raptors acquired Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

Leonard jumped by 10 PPG his first year with Lowry, averaging 26.6 PPG in their championship year. Expect a similar occurrence with Butler, as the focus is taken off him to make plays for others.

Jimmy Butler Season Preview

This Heat team will most likely be the grittiest team fans have seen in quite some time. The team will undoubtedly be led by superstar Jimmy Butler. Expect Butler to lead the team to a top three playoff seed while giving fans some exciting basketball to watch.

Throughout his first two years with the team, Butler has been the sole leader of the Heat along developing star Bam Adebayo. Hopefully with the star-powered leadership of Lowry, Bam will continue to grow into the superstar Heat fans know he can be and take some pressure away from Butler.

This isn’t to say that Jimmy will be a less effective player, but rather to say that he will not have to single-handedly carry the team in all stat categories. He will finally have the help he needs to push the Heat over the top and bring them back to finals contention.


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