- Jimmy Butler scored 40 points and dominated the Milwaukee Bucks to help the Miami Heat win Game 1 of their second-round series.
- Before the game, Butler said he didn't bring his family to the bubble because he views it as a "business trip" and can go another few months without his family members.
- Butler has taken his game to another level in the postseason and has set the Heat up to pull off a stunning playoff upset.
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Jimmy Butler indeed treated the NBA bubble like "business" on Monday.
Butler scored 40 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to help the Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 115-104, to take a 1-0 series lead in the second round of the playoffs.
Butler's dominant performance came as he delivered a stern message about his bubble mindset. During Game 1, TNT's Allie LaForce reported that while players were finally allowed to bring families to the bubble, Butler decided not to because he views it as a "business trip."
"This is a business trip for me. I'm not messing around. Everyone wants to have their family, without a doubt. But we've been doing this for this long, what's another couple of months? It is an individual decision, and I respect that decision that my teammates make, but I'm here for business."
Butler has described his singular focus in the bubble before. He told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that he doesn't need friends after a small, in-game confrontation with Chris Paul.
"I don't care. I don't need friends here in the bubble," Butler said. "I barely leave my room. I'm in my room, minding my business. I'm not gonna see nobody."
And what better way to prove his business mindset than to outplay Giannis Antetokounmpo, the presumptive 2020 MVP?
Butler scored his 40 points on 13-of-20 shoot, 2-of-2 from three, and 12-of-13 from the free-throw line. In the fourth quarter, Butler delivered dagger after dagger, turning a one-point game into a 10-point lead for the Heat down the stretch.
With Butler in the zone, he told his teammates down the stretch that they might not get many shots
"I told my teammates I was probably wasn't going to pass the ball," Butler told reporters after the game. "I made a couple shots. And they said that's fine with [them]."
Butler has said his on-court philosophy is to get teammates involved and fill whatever role the team needs. In the postseason, that has meant being more aggressive offensively. Butler has raised his scoring average from 19.9 points per game in the regular season to 23.8 in the playoffs while getting to the free-throw line 11 times per game.
With no travel or home-court advantage, the series hasn't swung in the Heat's favor as it normally would have, but with Butler at the helm in the bubble, Miami is still in a good position to pull off a shocking upset.
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