The Miami Heat are slowly rejuvenating themselves to the winning flow of last season.
The aggressive play of star center Bam Adebayo and the leadership of Kyle Lowry have brought the team to four victories in their last five games, with the most notable one being this past Friday against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
A game that featured the return of Miami superstar Jimmy Butler saw the forward shatter the hearts of the 19-5 Celtics by hitting one clutch shot after another. After the game, he posed high confidence in the Heat and its resiliency in tight situations but most notably made a promise to team President and all-time NBA legend Pat Riley, as he hopes this season shapes up to be Riley’s 10th championship run.
“When you’re talking about the Heat,” Butler said. “Deep run into the playoffs, championship caliber, that’s the second two is about. You put the two together, Pat Riley; we’re getting your 10th championship.”
Butler came within reach of Riley’s 10th title on two separate occasions, as in the 2020 NBA Finals, the Heat came up short against the Los Angeles Lakers, losing the series 4-2. Last season, the Heat were once again in the Eastern Conference Finals against the rivaled Celtics, and in Game 7, Butler missed a critical go-ahead three-point shot in the final 18 seconds to give Boston the opportunity to ice the game and move on to the championship series against the Golden State Warriors.
Though the Heat hasn’t looked themselves this season, when Butler is on the court, his elite level of play places him in the upper echelon of star players across the League. He’s currently averaging 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
The Heat Culture embodies a ‘bounce back’ mentality through their grit and determination on the floor, and Butler has certainly embraced it. However, at 33-years-old, time is certainly closing on him to achieve the dream of winning a championship.
Butler is capable of taking on the challenge on his own, but basketball is a team game, and Heat fans know that if a championship comes to South Beach, it’ll have to be a high-level team effort.
“We’re still going to win the championship, and I don’t care what nobody says,” Butler said on the early struggle of the Heat. “Count us out. We’re going to win the f—— championship. I’m telling you.”