Miami forward Jimmy Butler has won the Larry Bird trophy for Eastern Conference Finals MVP after leading his team to the NBA Finals.
The Heat beat the Celtics 103-84 at The Garden, in front of thousands of disappointed C’s fans.
Butler finished Game 7 with 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals but his efforts throughout the first three games is what really cemented his MVP status.
He led the team in scoring in three out of their four wins throughout the series.
Last season when his side were eliminated by Boston and Butler vowed to be back in the same position the following season but would succeed.
The fact that Jimmy Butler said this EXACTLY one year ago after losing to the Celtics in 7 in the ECF and then it actually happening is CRAZY pic.twitter.com/dCRWaDEQEe
— Buhownz (@Demar305) May 30, 2023
Upon receiving his trophy, Butler was asked how he knew that his team would be back.
“I have so much belief in myself and this group of guys and the squad that coach Pat, Spo and everybody else put together,” Butler said. “I see it every single day. I know how good of players we have, I know how good of a team we are, and we made it happen.”
Caleb Martin, an undrafted player who was in the G League last season, finished off a very impressive series with 26 points and ten rebounds in Game 7 and received four ECP MVP votes to Butler’s five.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked what kind of inspirational video he showed his team before they received their trophy.
“It wasn’t about the video,” Spoelstra said. Its just about an incredible group of men right here. We are the men in the arena with our dust, sweat and blood on our faces and I think a lot of people can relate to this team because sometimes you have to suffer for the things you really want. And this group has shown fortitude when there are inevitable letdowns and failures but to have that perseverance to pick yourself up have that collective spirit, to keep on forging ahead until you accomplish what you want to.”
NBA Insider Chris Haynes also shared some good news for Miami fans as he tweeted after the game, “Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (hand fracture) is ramping up workouts and is expected to make his return at some point during NBA Finals with Game 3 being the likely target, league sources tell NBAonTNT”
Miami now have a huge challenge ahead of them in the Finals as they get set to face Denver, who dominated all season long.