April 16, 2017, 7:10 pm
Jimmy Butler was a man possessed in Sunday’s Game 1 victory, dropping 30 points with nine boards, three assists, a steal and a block in 41 minutes.
Butler shot 9-of-19 from the field, 3-of-5 from deep and 9-of-12 from the line. He hit a few huge buckets, including a deep three where the Celtics basically dared him to shoot and a second play where he drew a three-shot foul on a reaching Avery Bradley. Butler was simply terrific, scoring 25 of his points in the second half and silencing a raucous Boston crowd with play after play after play. He also swatted Isaiah Thomas at the rim in what was one of the game’s unofficial endpoints – Boston made it close late but once Butler shut Thomas down it sucked the life out of The Garden. He’ll be confronted by three excellent wing defenders all series long, but it might not matter. Butler is just that good.