Most teams would consider Miami’s playoff run a huge success, but team leader Jimmy Butler contends the goal was to win it all.
Butler, in his first season with the Heat, told the media he failed to get the job done after the Lakers closed out the series 4-2 with a resounding 106-93 win.
“This is what my team needed me to do, the organization asked of me,” said Butler. “I told them that I would win them one, and I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain, so that means I got to do it next year. I told Coach Pat, coach Spo I’m here to win one. I didn’t do my job, so moving forward, I got to hold up my end of the bargain.”
Butler led the fifth-seeded Heat past Eastern Conference giants, the Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics, before coming up two games shy of the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The All-Star guard averaged 22.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists during the playoffs and racked up two triple-double games in the Finals.
“He [Jimmy Butler] is a winner, he is a leader, he is a motivator and just a supreme competitor,” said coach Erik Spoelstra. And when you get to this level, I think so many people forget about that, the competition and what you can bring out of an entire franchise.”
Butler is arguably a perfect fit for Riley’s Heat and has now upended the Eastern Conference, forcing the Heat’s name into any future discussion on which team will head to the Finals next season.
“This is where I belong,” said Butler. “I wish I could have done it for the city. I wish I could have done it for my teammates, for the organization, but I’m still glad that it happened.”