In a repeat of the first-round playoff matchup from last season, the Miami Heat are facing the Milwaukee Bucks. But unlike last year, when the Heat won 4-1, they are down 2-0 already. While Game 1 was a close affair, Game 2 ended in a blowout.
Following the second loss, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal had some tips for his former team. O’Neal believes that as a leader, he expects Jimmy Butler to step up. And that involves with him being selfish too.
“If I was on the team, I’d call him out,” Shaq said on NBA on TNT. “I need you to be more selfish. He’s a perfect player, very unselfish, but I need my number one player taking more than ten shots. Especially when we’re down 0-1. So if he’s coming out aggressive, I expect everybody else to be aggressive.”
In Game 2, Butler only took 10 shots. He made four of them and had just 10 points in their biggest game so far. O’Neal was unimpressed that he did so little when the team clearly needed him more. Butler was having one of the worst games of his career, as he finished with a -34 plus/minus, the lowest on the team.
When Jimmy Butler tried to be selfish in Game 1
In Game 2, despite Butler being the best player on the team, there were four other players who took more shots than him. And it ended in a 34 point blowout loss.
But in Game 1, Butler did try to be selfish, and racked up 22 shots. However, he made just four of them, ending the game with an embarrassing 18% field goal percentage. The only reason the game was close because the Bucks were also struggling offensively.
So entering Game 3, the Heat need to think of a better game plan. As Shaq mentioned, they need Butler to step up and take more shots, but he needs to be efficient as well.
Shaq still believes Miami Heat can tie the series
Towards the end of the show, Shaq also made a statement saying he believes Heat can still tie the series. He believes the home-court advantage will galvanize the Heat players and they can fight back to level the series 2-2. At the moment, it looks unlikely that it will happen.
The Bucks showed their dominance last night, and unless the Heat step up drastically, it could end up in a sweep, just as Shaq’s Hall of Famer best friend Charles Barkley predicted.
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