The Miami Heat were all but counted out by the media and the general public after Derrick White’s tip-in game-winner in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Coach Erik Spoelstra and Jimmy Butler promised the Heat would go to Boston and handle their business in game 7. Handling their business is exactly what the Heat did. The Heat defeated the Celtics 103-84 to punch their ticket to their second NBA Finals since 2020. The Miami Heat avoided being on the wrong side of history. They would have been the joke of all jokes in the sports world if they would have blown a 3-0 lead to lose the series. The Heat allowed the Celtics to tie the series at 3-3 but then were able to win the series in 7. Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra spoke postgame regarding his team’s perseverance and clinching another NBA Finals berth for the Heat franchise.
“Sometimes you have to suffer for the things that you really want,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This group has shown fortitude when there are inevitable letdowns and failures, to have that perseverance to pick yourself up, to have that collective spirit to keep on forging ahead until you get to accomplish what you want to.”
Jimmy Butler was named the 2023 NBA Eastern Conference Finals MVP. He had a big game 7 to lift the Heat to the 19-point victory. Butler scored 28 points on 12-for-28 shooting. Butler also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out six assists, and recorded three steals in the big win. Butler seemed to be picking his spots these past few games. He then attacked at the right times to lift the Heat to another NBA Finals berth. Butler spoke about his squad reaching another NBA Finals postgame. He also spoke about how the job is not finished for his team.
“We stayed together as a group. As a team, we talked about going and getting a tough one on the road. We did just that,” Butler said. “But we’re not satisfied. We’re excited. We’re happy. But we’ve got one more to get.”
More Heat Contributions
- Caleb Martin scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out three assists, and recorded a steal.
- Bam Adebayo scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out seven assists.
- Gabe Vincent scored 10 points and dished out four assists.
- Duncan Robinson scored 10 points and recorded two steals off the bench.
The Miami Heat now travel to Denver, Colorado to face the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals. Game 1 of the Finals is Thursday, 6/1/23. Tip-off from Ball Arena is at 8:30 pm Eastern/6:30 pm Mountain Time.