Jimmy Butler can score 40 points and the Miami Heat can win.
Or he can score 14 and the Heat can win.
The Heat don't always need scoring from Butler. But they need his all-around game, which was on display in high-definition in Miami's 106-101 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
If all you watched was his offense, it would be easy to surmise that Butler had an off night: 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting. But that ignores the small details — the when, the how, the why.
Start with the role he played defensively in helping hold the Celtics to 41 points in the second half, including 17 in the third quarter and seven in the final 4:25 of the fourth.
Three of his foul steals came in the final 3:48, and two of those steals led to a dunk and a layup. The final steal broke up a pass with 7.4 seconds remaining that doused any chance of a Boston comeback.