Jimmy Butler Eviscerated the 76ers Off the Court After Torching His Old Team to End Their Season
lt’s sometimes easy to forget Jimmy Butler played 67 games for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2018-2019 campaign, 55 in the regular season and another dozen in the playoffs. But he clearly hasn’t.
That season, the Sixers were bounced in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in seven games. And Butler never played another game in a Philly uniform as the Sixers didn’t want to commit to him on a long-term basis and traded him to the Miami Heat.
Fast forward three years, and the 76ers have yet again failed to move past the second round. But it was Butler doing the bouncing this time as the Heat capped off a six-game series win over his old team on Thursday night in Philadelphia. This will be Miami’s second trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in three years.
The six-time NBA All-Star was brilliant throughout the series, showing the Sixers that the same brilliance could have been for them. And once the series was officially over, it didn’t take him long to verbally remind them of that as well.
Jimmy Butler torched the 76ers for committing to Tobias Harris instead of him
In February 2019, just a few months after making the trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Butler, Philadelphia acquired Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers.
On July 10 of that year, Harris was given a five-year/$180 million contract by the 76ers. That was four days after they worked out the sign-and-trade deal with the Heat that sent Butler’s talents to South Beach. Harris is three years younger.
And it’s not as if Harris hasn’t been a solid player. Since arriving in the City of Brotherly Love, he’s averaged 18.7 points and 6.9 rebounds. But his scoring dips to 17.5 points per game in the postseason, and he averaged 16.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in the series against the Heat.
On the other hand, Butler has averaged 20.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.2 assists since joining the Heat. And he’s been even better in the postseason, putting up 23.2 points per game. And he was easily the best player of this series, averaging 27.5 points on 51.3% shooting with 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per night.
As he ran off the court after scoring 32 points in the Heat’s Game 6 victory, Jimmy Buckets had a message for both Harris and the 76ers.
“Tobias Harris over me?”
What else needs to be said? Actually, now that I think about it, he could have even more room to gripe if the Sixers extend James Harden with a max contract.
Okay — now what else needs to be said?
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference
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