The Heat have lost two games in a row to the Celtics but the players and franchise coach Erik Spoelstra have confidence about progressing to the NBA Finals.
Boston led convincingly the entire night on Thursday during their 110-97 Game 5 win at The Garden but Heat forward Jimmy Butler isn’t panicked in the slightest. Why?
“Because the last two games are not who we are,” he said postgame. “It just happened to be that way. We stopped playing defense halfway because we didn’t make shots that we want to make. But that’s easily correctable. You just have to come out and play harder from the jump. Like I always say, it’s going to be all smiles and we are going to keep it very, very, very consistent, knowing that we are going to win next game.”
Heat center Bam Adebayo says that his team have been underdogs for the entire postseason, so losing two games hasn’t damaged their confidence one bit.
“Why would we lose confidence?” Adebayo said. “When we started this journey, nobody believed in us. Everybody thought we were going to be out in the first round. Everybody thought we were going to be out in the second round. And now we are here one game away. For us, we’ve always had confidence, and that’s not going to go away.”
When Spoelstra was asked if he’s concerned about where his side is at mentally after losing the last two games, he didn’t mince words.
“Who cares about mood?,” Spoelstra said. “We have a gnarly group. I think so much of that is overrated. It’s a competitive series. You always expect things to be challenging in the Conference Finals. One game doesn’t lead to the next game. Based on all the experience that we’ve had, it doesn’t matter in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if you lose by whatever. We beat them by whatever in Game 3. It just doesn’t matter.”
A usually blistering playoffs Himmy was notably absent in Game 5, as he only posted 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. Compare that to Game 4 where he had 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
His average of 29.9 points during the playoffs has been one of the highlights without a doubt and his teammates still have faith that he’ll deliver as they head back to Miami.
“I think just give him a steady diet, and we know that he’ll find it,” Heat big man Kevin Love said. “Just based off of who he is, based off the numbers, we have no doubt in Game 6 he’ll come out and be Jimmy Butler.”
Game 6 of the Miami-Boston series will take place on Saturday, May 27 at 8:30PM ET at Kaseya Center.