The Miami Heat came within one missed three-pointer of advancing to the NBA Finals for a date with the Golden State Warriors last season. But unfortunately, it fell short as they lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on their home floor.
The Heat came into this season looking to build upon last season and take the next step towards becoming NBA champs for the first time since the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh era.
But so far, this season has been a struggle for the Heat. They currently have a record of 3-5 and sit in 12th place in the conference. But despite their early season struggles, their superstar Jimmy Butler is not short on confidence. It may only be eight games into the season, but the All-Star forward is guaranteeing the Larry O’Brien trophy is coming back to South Beach.
“We’re still going to win the championship, and I don’t care what nobody says,” Butler said to Sam Amick of “The Athletic”. “Count us out. We’re going to win the f***** championship. I’m telling you. I don’t give a damn that we started 2-5.”
Butler on Heat’s Struggles: ‘We’ve Got Time’
The Heat got back on the right track with a win over the Golden State Warriors in their last game. The NBA season is a long 82-game stretch filled with highs and lows. But the teams that survive until the end are the ones who can figuratively get off the mat after taking a punch.
There is still a lot of basketball left to play, and that is one of the things that has Butler optimistic about Miami’s chances of winning the title.
“We’ve got time, man. We’ve just got to play with a little bit more urgency and realize how fragile this thing is, trust in one another and play basketball the right way on both sides of the ball,” Butler added.
“There’s a lot of good things, so I don’t get discouraged. I know we have these (good) stretches (in games), and it’s like, ‘Damn, they really can do it.’ We can do it. We’ve just gotta do it consistently.”
Butler Sounds off on Changes to Miami’s Roster
Outside of P.J. Tucker leaving the franchise to join their conference rival Philadelphia 76ers, the Heat have the same roster from last year. However, Butler notes that just because Miami has brought back the same players doesn’t mean that the Heat have the same team.
A lot of moving parts have changed the makeup of this year’s Heat roster, which Butler says makes them ‘vastly different’.
“Man, I hate when people talk (about the past). Like. we’ve got a different team. Yeah, we’ve got the same players (as last season), but like, Max don’t start, Tyler’s starting. Tyler just got an extension, P.J.’s not here, and Caleb is starting. Like, everybody’s role is so vastly different — and it’s a good thing. It’s not bad. I’m not complaining. It is good,” Butler added.
“But yeah, on paper it looks like we have the same team. But we’ve gotta figure out a lot more things because things are different. As much as they are the same, they are different. And I’m telling you, it’s not bad because we’re going to figure it out.”
With so much basketball left to be played, the Heat have plenty of time to right the ship.