The Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors are currently leading in the Eastern and Western conference finals respectively. They both have the best records among teams currently left in the league. Stephen Curry and Jimmy Butler have been leading their packs but who’s been better in the NBA playoffs so far?
Stephen Curry and Jimmy Butler have had polar opposite careers. Curry is the son of former NBA players and was drafted 7th overall. Whereas Butler was drafted 30th overall as the last pick of the first round. Steph was directly inserted as the cornerstone of the Warriors franchise but Jimmy had to earn himself minutes.
Stephen Curry vs Jimmy Butler
Comparing the careers of Steph and Jimmy seems unfair. As great of a player Butler is, he cannot be compared to the only unanimous MVP and multiple-time champion. But if we compare these players this season, that’s when it gets more interesting.
In the 2021-22 NBA season, Stephen Curry averaged 25.5 points per game with 6 assists and 5 rebounds. In comparison, Jimmy Butler averaged 21 points 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Those are near identical except for 4 points per game.
Stephen Curry is averaging 27 points per game with 4 rebounds and 5 assists per game in the NBA playoffs and Jimmy Butler is averaging 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Again, there is no way to set them apart. Their statistics almost weigh each other in the playoffs.
A deeper look into it and you can see Butler start to pull away. Butler leads the entire playoffs in total steals, steals per game, player efficiency rating, win shares, offensive win shares, win shares per 48 minutes, value over replacement player, and steal %. Curry only leads in 3-point field goals and 3-point field goal attempts.
Jimmy Butler also has had the higher playoff season-high. Butler scored 45 points in a game against Atlanta. Chef Curry scored just 34 in a game against Denver but did have a higher +/- in that game. Jimmy is also better at handling the ball, he’s had almost 17 fewer ‘bad pass’ turnovers.
Butler came up when it mattered the most. He’s a playoff player and is the only reason the Miami Heat goes on to win the NBA title.