Heat’s Jimmy Butler guarantees NBA Finals appearance after Game 5 breakout: ‘We can and we will win’

Heat’s Jimmy Butler guarantees NBA Finals appearance after Game 5 breakout: ‘We can and we will win’

The Miami Heat had control over the Eastern Conference Finalsholding a 3-0 lead over the Boston Celtics three days ago.

In NBA history, no team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoffswith teams ranging from 0 to 150 facing the daunting task.

Miami Heat No. 22 Jimmy Butler attends Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on May 25, 2023 at TD Garden in Boston. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

However, the Celtics are at least force heat think about the possibility of making the infamous story.


Boston forced a Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals, winning Game 5 on Thursday at Boston, 110-97.

While the next day’s conversation will focus on the Celtics trying to replicate the Boston Red Sox in 2004, Miami Star Jimmy Butler is confident he will make his second NBA Finals appearance.

“We just have to play better. Start games better with the starters,” Butler told reporters in his post-match press conference. “Make it harder for them. They’ve been on a rhythm from the start of the game.

Jimmy Butler plays the Celtics in Game 5

Miami Heat No. 22 Jimmy Butler looks on against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 25, 2023 in Boston. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“But we’re always going to stay positive knowing that we can and will win this series. And we’ll just have to close it at home.”


The Celtics got off to a fast start in Game 5, forcing six turnovers and taking a 15-point lead after the first quarter.

Boston forced 16 turnovers on the night, cutting the series lead to 3-2 and rising to 4-0 during the 2023 NBA Playoffs facing elimination.

“It just says we have our backs to the wall, stick together and compete at a high level to give ourselves a chance,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said.

Joe Mazzulla calls the timeout

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla calls out his players during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Basketball Eastern Conference Semifinals playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in Boston . (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Miami is trying to become the second eight seed to reach the NBA Finals since 1984, when the current format was adopted.


“One game doesn’t lead to the next game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It doesn’t matter. It’s about preparing collectively and putting together a great game. We’ll play much better on Saturday. That’s all we need to focus on right now.”

Boston hit at least 40 percent of its three-point attempts for the second straight game, knocking down 16 of 39 shots from beyond the arc.

Game 6 is Saturday night in Miami.

The Associated Press contributed to this story


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