If Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler is sweating after losing two straight games to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, he’s not showing it. After the team’s 110–97 loss in Game 5, Butler confidently declared that the Heat would “win this series.”
Buttler made these comments after posting his worst game in the series. Butler went 5-of-10 from the field while scoring 14 points in the loss. It was very different from earlier in the series, where Butler had dropped 35 points in the Game 1 win and 27 in the Game 2 win.
That didn’t stop Buttler from showing faith in himself and his team. “We’re always going to be positive, knowing we can do it and we will win this series,” said Buttler. “We have to lock it down at home.”
He doubled down on that last sentiment, making sure the Heat were “going to win the next game.”
The pressure is increasingly shifting to the Heat after allowing the Celtics back in the series. The Heat got off to a great start, taking a 3-0 lead early in the series. With their backs against the wall, the Celtics rallied, and won the next two games to force a Game 6 in Miami.
Buttler’s guarantees come at a tough time considering how the series has played out, but it would be foolish to doubt that at this point of time. The Heat entered the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Facing low expectations, the team upset the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks before going up 3–0 over the Celtics.
On top of that, Butler has a reputation for stepping up his game over the seasons. He continues to refute the “Playoff Jimmy” narrative, but opposing teams may disagree considering how well Butler has played this postseason.
If Buttler has proved anything during this run, it is that he doesn’t let pressure or narrative affect his game. If Butler can maintain his composure entering Game 6, he may be able to deliver on his promise.
If not, expect Butler to carry his immense confidence for Game 7.