Despite reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat, as the seventh seed, weren’t supposed to make it this far in the NBA Playoffs. But after reaching the postseason via a successful run in the play-in tournament, the Heat have defied all odds, thanks to Jimmy Butler entering playoff mode, where the six-time All-Star has been nearly unstoppable at times.
Now after knocking off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and the fifth-seed New York Knicks, Miami’s next challenge will be taking on the Boston Celtics, who earned the second seed in the East. The Celtics eliminated the Heat last season on their way to the NBA Finals, so Miami is well aware of the task ahead.
But it’s clear Butler isn’t lacking any confidence ahead of his rematch with the Celtics, which tips off Wednesday.
“This year is our year. We’re going to go into this Game 1 and do what we’re supposed to do and be the first one to four. We are very capable of it. We have enough. Guys are playing some incredible basketball. I like our chances, as does everyone in this organization.”Jimmy Butler on Miami Heat
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Last year the Heat fell to the Celtics in seven games, showing Boston wasn’t a bad matchup for the Miami squad coached by Erik Spoelstra. In that series, Miami got off to a hot start, winning the first game, plus the third, before winning Game 6 and coming five points shy of a trip to the NBA Finals in Game 7.
Butler appears ready for the challenge this time around, and even though he remains confident, he also realizes Boston is far from a pushover.
“They got scorers, defenders, facilitators. There’s not too much they do bad. If there’s ever a need for perfect basketball, even though it’s not really a thing, we better get as close to it as we can.”Butler on challenges Boston Celtics present
We’re sure coach Spoelstra would love to see perfect basketball. Isn’t that what he’s been preaching all season long? In all reality, both the Heat and the Celtics will have to be at their best to reach the NBA’s final stage. But it still won’t quite be perfect.
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