Beating the 1-seed as the 8-seed is an extremely difficult task to pull off, and that is by design. And the statistics show it: only five 8-seeds in NBA history have managed to advance to the second round. But Jimmy Butler and the 2022-23 Miami Heat showed that seeding is just a number as they vanquished the heavily-favored Milwaukee Bucks in five games, making it the least competitive first-round upset of a one-seed in the history of the NBA.
As much talk as there will be regarding yet another inexplicable Bucks’ collapse, credit must go to the Heat for not giving up despite the considerable adversity they have had to face over the past few weeks. The Heat lost Tyler Herro to a broken hand and Victor Oladipo to a ruptured patellar tendon, but here they are, still alive and kicking as they book their conference semifinals matchup against the New York Knicks.
Deservedly, Heat fans on Twitter exploded in celebration, giving Jimmy Butler his due praise after another heroic performance that included a ridiculous game-tying alley-oop bucket.
Jimmy Butler really turns into a Basketball God during the playoffs.
— DJ TreMon Jamal (@TreMonJamal) April 27, 2023
A fantastic draymond performance on the same night of an epic Bucks collapse. An “I’m him” series for the ages from Marquette product Jimmy Butler. At least the #1 team in the NBA won one more playoff game than the Pistons this year
— Alec Hiler (@AlecHatesManU2) April 27, 2023
Jimmy butler embarrassing tf out the bucks
— Juice (@0favors_) April 27, 2023
Jrue Holiday received votes for Defensive Player of the Year. I think he’s the best perimeter defender in basketball.
Jimmy Butler crushed and discarded him like an empty Miller can, over and over.
— Basketball Poetry (@bballispoetry) April 27, 2023
Just go ahead and hang Jimmy Butler’s jersey in the Kaysea center’s rafters right now
— HEAT NATION (@Zachppp) April 27, 2023
Even with Butler leading the way for the Heat, the Eastern Conference eight-seed did not pull off this upset behind the efforts of just one man. Unsung heroes such as Gabe Vincent, who threw the game-tying lob, and Max Strus, also received their well-deserved flowers on the back of one of the most enthralling first-round upsets of all time.
Gabe Vincent – Max Strus – Caleb Martin – Cody Zeller on the floor just closed out the no.1 seed w/ a two time MVP at their home. Unbelievable scenes
— Elliott Abrahams (@ellstaa) April 27, 2023
Gabe Vincent was phenomenal tonight. Heat needed him and he showed up. That clutch 3…..
— I Dunc-I Rob-I Sin (@ItcouldbeJ) April 27, 2023
ERIK SPOELSTRA IS DOING THIS WITH GABE VINCENT, THE GHOST OF KEVIN LOVE, AND CODY ZELLER FROM THE YMCA MEN’S LEAGUE PUT THAT MAN IN THE HALL OF FAME RIGHT NOW
— smoot (@adamsmoot) April 27, 2023
Jimmy Butler closed out the number one seed bucks with Cody Zeller, Caleb Martin, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent. Think about that for a second. A player Cody no one wanted and 4 fucking g leaguers undrafted players. Unreal.
He is HIM
— Mister Godoing (SaturnionBrand Denier) (@MisterGodoing) April 27, 2023
Nevertheless, Heat fans know that the job isn’t done. Bring on the New York Knicks.
Heat in 6, other than Brunson I don’t trust anybody on that knicks team
— hassan (@superbhash) April 27, 2023
This Heat-Knicks series is about to COOK
— Elijah Washington (@eli_wash330) April 27, 2023
Knicks vs Heat Playoff History:
1997 Heat def. Knicks (Big Brawl in game 5 with multiple suspensions)
1998 Knicks def. Heat (Zo vs LJ Brawl–Jeff Van Gundy hangingon Zo’s leg)
1999 Knicks (8th seed) def. Heat (1 seed): Allan Houston shot
2000 Knicks def Heat
2012 Heat def Knicks
— Justin ‘Fensty’ Fensterman (@FenstySports) April 27, 2023
Ready for Knicks/Heat pic.twitter.com/Tm3pTLW1wl
— PDS (@SolePurpose) April 27, 2023
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