Why Jimmy Butler Is ‘Glad’ to Be Facing Philly on Their Home Court for Play-In


The Heat and the 76ers will battle it out for a spot in the Playoffs on Wednesday and Jimmy Butler has spoken about the challenge of facing Philly on their home court.

Miami ended their regular season with a 118-103 win over Toronto at Kaseya Center, but Jimmy knows the Play-In against Philadelphia will be a totally different playing environment.

“Just gotta go out there and compete, play basketball the right way and do something very difficult and it’s to win on Philly’s floor,” Butler said. “This is the time of the year where you’re going to have to do that anyways if you want to win a championship. Obviously we have to do it if we want to get to seven [seventh seed].”

The Heat have a 22-19 record at home, compared to a 24-17 record on the road over the regular season, so Butler will take his chances on the road.

“… I wish we played better at home. I don’t know. Whenever we get on the road, our back against the wall a little bit,” Butler said. “I guess we get out of our comfort zone, and then we really start making things happen, so I’m actually kind of glad we’re on the road.”

Despite being heavy underdogs last season, Playoff Jimmy and the Heat made it to the NBA Finals, but were defeated in five games at the hands of the Nuggets.

Since then, the team have added Terry Rozier, Delon Wright and Patty Mills to the mix and Butler is confident about the players around him.

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“I feel good about the group, Butler said. “And that’s all I wanted to see these last couple of games. I just wanted to feel it. I know my team. I know the locker room. I can sense this group is ready. That’s all you can ask for. We not the same group as last year, so we leave that where it’s at and we’re moving forward with the group that we do have. But we, I are very confident in the guys we do have and we know what we’re capable of so we’ll see what we got.”

As for the 76ers, the franchise would have likely automatically qualified for the Playoffs if big man Joel Embiid hadn’t gone down with injury in January.

But forward Tobias Harris says the team isn’t focussing on what could have been and are only fixed on the task at hand.

“This is where we’re at as a team,” Harris said. “We’re confident. We know what’s at stake here and we’re not looking for any sympathy on how our season has gone. We obviously understand where we’re at right now, and all we’re looking forward to is our next opponent and being ready to win and go forward into the playoffs.”

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