Jimmy Butler Emerges As The Biggest Playoff Underdog In NBA History

Photo: Instagram/Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler, a shooting guard for the Miami Heat, may have had a career rife with disappointments, but he has earned his place in history as the greatest underdog in NBA playoff history.

Despite the fact that Butler has never won a championship, he is the last person that players on the road to the championship want to face.

Butler's win rate of 46% in 13 series in which his team was the lower seed, is impressive when compared to the 24% win rate of lower seeds since Butler became a full-time starter in 2014.

Photo: Instagram/ Jimmy Butler rises as the ultimate underdog, making NBA history with his unwavering determination and relentless spirit.

His 19-25 record on the road in the postseason equates to a winning percentage of about 43%, while road teams, in general, have only won 35% of playoff games between 1984 and 2020.

The Miami Heat, led by Butler, became the second-lowest overall seed to reach the NBA Finals in 2020 as a No. 5 seed. Only the No. 6 seeded Houston Rockets had achieved that feat before.

In addition, only five No. 8 seeds have ever defeated a No. 1 seed, and no play-in team had ever won a playoff series until Butler's Heat in 2023.

Furthermore, Butler has also displayed exceptional individual performances, such as playing 48 minutes in three out of five games against the Miami Heat in the second round of only his second overall season and first in the rotation.

Butler has become a playoff giant slayer, with his ability to take down championship contenders despite playing for teams that are often considered underdogs. He has held James, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, to only 23.6 points per game in the 2013 playoffs, a feat that not even Kawhi Leonard has matched.

In the 2020 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Butler posted a 40-point triple-double and a 35-point triple-double in Miami's two wins.

Butler's most recent feat as an underdog was the Miami Heat's victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, the No. 1 seed, in the 2023 playoffs. The Heat overcame double-digit fourth-quarter deficits to win both Game 4 and Game 5, with Butler scoring 98 combined points in those two games, including 14 points in the fourth quarter of each game.

His performance made him responsible for half of Milwaukee's postseason defeats under Mike Budenholzer.

Butler's playoff identity is unique, as he deprives others of championships despite never having won one himself. He is a legendary underdog who has overcome all odds to become one of the greatest players in NBA history.

Despite his achievements, Butler has remained humble, and his path to stardom shows that hard work and determination can overcome even the most difficult of obstacles.

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Source: CBS Sports


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