Jimmy Butler has shamed a lot of people who took a shot at him for allegedly being a problematic player. Most know his history with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers. But in the end, the 31-year-old just wanted to win.

Butler was hard on players like Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid but these were not done out without reason. Aware that these are young players, the 30th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft knows that he needs to set them in the right direction as early as possible. Most took it in a wrong way but Butler has shown everyone up by leading the Miami Heat to the 2019-20 NBA Finals.

Despite his breakthrough, some view him as someone incapable of leading the Heat to the NBA title. They single out Butler ranked between the 8th and 12th best players in the past few seasons, some questioning if he could be a feasible no. 1 option, ESPN Zach’s Lowe said citing sources.

These claims came out when the Heat was trailing the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals 1-2. Miami is even in a deeper hole with a 1-3 series deficit but Butler is not the reason for that. He has hardly gotten the support with Bam Adebayo not at 100 percent and Goran Dragic likely out of the rest of the season.

Hence, it may seem unfair to pass judgment on Butler with the effort he has placed. Most fail to realize that he is also not at 100-percent, twisting his ankle injury in the NBA Finals opener. Regardless, that has not stopped the five-time All-Star. He was the main guy in the Heat’s game 3 win but it remains that he cannot do that every night.

Indeed, Butler cannot lead the Heat to the NBA title but only if he does not get proper support. Right now, the Heat are in a bind but expected to fight until the very end. Though the odds are stacked, the Lakers need to work and get past the South Beach squad to cop the NBA title.

Some have surrendered to the imminent results of this year’s NBA finals but the story could be different next season. The Heat needs new players and are on the right track. The fact that they were not tipped as favorites this season and reached the NBA Finals is already an achievement. So one can just wonder how far they will go with the right tools and more mature players next season.

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat Getty Images | Kevin C. Cox