Here’s a note for Philadelphia 76er’s fans everywhere: “Have no fear, Jimmy Butler is here!” Not the question is this: with Butler, will the Sixers win the East? After what I saw last night, there’s no reason not to believe they can. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves; let’s just start with Jimmy Butler and last night.
Did you see last night’s game? No? Don’t worry, I didn’t either. But I saw the highlights, and Jimmy “Bucket” Butler is as good as advertised. Last night, in just his third game with his new team, Butler and the Philadelphia 76er’s defeated the Charlotte Hornets 122-119, in OT. hopefully, it is a healthy harbinger of what is to come with Butler and Embiid and Simmons playing together, who now make up the new “Beast in the East.”
Butler didn’t sink the potentially game winning basket at the end of regulation, but he did block Kemba Walker’s shot near the end of overtime. He also saved the ball from landing out-of-bounds, and THEN managed to sink the game winner from beyond the arc for a thrilling, last second, game winning three-point basket to the chagrin of everyone at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, but to the glee of every 76er’s fan anywhere.
Despite a ridiculous game from Kemba Walker, Butler and the Sixers managed to pull another rabbit out of the hat. Walker scorched the Sixers for a season high 60 points in one game, but he couldn’t seal the deal when it mattered most. Butler, on the other hand, had a mediocre game – he finished with 15 points — but he had the heroics when it mattered most and hammered the nail down on the coffin so that the Sixers put the Charlotte Hornets to bed for the third time this year.
Once again, we see that a team can be impacted by just one player, for good or for ill. Indeed, when it matters most, one man, or one woman, can make a difference. And that’s the message: you can make a difference. So stop saying that you’re only one person and that what you do doesn’t matter and that you’re small part doesn’t amount to much. Just stop it! You can make a difference.
And what a difference Jimmy Butler is making. He’s glad to be in Philly, he genuinely enjoys playing with Embiid, Simmons, JJ and the gang, and he’s excited about what the future holds. You just can’t put a dollar value on effort and hustle and guts. You just can’t. And Butler brings all of that to the table, and some.
And so there you have it: after just three games, Jimmy Butler has proven that he’s worth his weight in gold as he has seamlessly sewn himself into the Philly fabric. Butler has made himself useful in more ways than one. Amen to that.
And here’s to more to come.