The Miami Heat are Jimmy Butler’s team.
It’s been that way since he joined the team, and it’ll be that way until a new guy takes over.
However, as much as he’s their leader, someone else stole the show, the bright lights, and the spotlight in the Eastern Conference Finals.
As a matter of fact, just one single vote separated Caleb Martin (4) from Butler (5) as the ECF MVP.
After their clutch performances, only one vote separated Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin for Eastern Conference Finals MVP 👀 pic.twitter.com/SOwSSFYK8s
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 30, 2023
Martin took over at one point in the game and had multiple clutch moments in the series.
He averaged 19.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game on 60% from the floor and 49% from deep, outscoring and outplaying an All-NBA player like Jaylen Brown.
Butler has been the second-best player in the playoffs this season behind only Nikola Jokic, averaging 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in 17 games in the 2023 playoffs.
His scoring prowess and efficiency went down a couple of notches in Games 4 through 6, which is one of the main reasons why the Heat struggled to close the Celtics out despite jumping to an early 3-0 lead in this series.
Martin, however, kept his foot on the gas throughout the whole series, finishing on a high note with 26 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and four three-pointers on 11/16 from the floor and 4/6 from beyond the arc.
He may not be an elite defender like Butler or even have the opportunity to take 16 shots every single game.
But he made the most of the opportunity, and the playoffs are when good players actually become great players.NEXT: Jimmy Butler Sends A Clear Message After Game 7 Win