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#pounditTuesday, October 3, 2023

Heat teammate nearly beat out Jimmy Butler for Conference Finals MVP

Jimmy Butler holds the ball

Apr 19, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during game two of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler took home Eastern Conference Finals MVP honors on Monday, narrowly beating out one of his teammates for the award.

Butler led the Miami Heat with 28 points in a 103-84 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of their conference finals series. Teammate Caleb Martin scored 26 points with 10 rebounds and shot 11/16 from the field. Martin also had 21 points with 15 rebounds in Game 6 and 25 points in Game 2.

Martin’s performance throughout the series led to him receiving strong consideration for the series MVP. Out of the nine votes for NBA MVP, five went to Butler and four to Martin.

Butler took home the Larry Bird Trophy, but Martin gave him a run and received plenty of recognition for his performance. Butler had big games in the first two contests of the series, but he shot poorly in Game 6, which likely left an imprint for some voters. Martin finished the series in a strong manner, which captured the attention of several voters.

Now Miami advances to the NBA Finals to face the Denver Nuggets.


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