After enduring a three-game losing streak, the Miami Heat were finally able to come away with a win Saturday night. In a home tilt against the Dallas Mavericks, Jimmy Butler and company managed to pull out a hard-fought 129-122 victory to give themselves their 41 win on the season and, in turn, a chance to potentially bypass the play-in tournament altogether and officially advance to the postseason.
While the All-Star wing’s 35-point, 12-assist, and 3-rebound performance certainly helped pave the way for the Heat on the night, it was the help of his supporting cast that ultimately proved to be the real difference maker.
Recently signed big man Cody Zeller proved to be one of Miami’s most effective contributors, as he was inserted into Erik Spoelstra’s starting lineup with star Bam Adebayo sidelined with a right hip contusion.
Following the outing, Jimmy Butler praised the ninth-year veteran for the impact that he had on the team against the Mavs and, specifically, how easy it is to “work with a player” like him.
“My job is really easy. He sets screens, he rolls hard as I don’t know what, and you reward your big for that. And then if I’m not open, he’s not open, that means somebody’s in the paint or our shooters are open. That’s just the way the game is played. It’s simple and we just need to keep that formula going,” Butler said regarding Cody Zeller’s impact on the Heat.
Zeller went on to log 28 minutes on the night and registered 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 steal on 69.2% shooting from the field.
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