Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler named Eastern Conference Finals MVP | “We’re excited but not satisfied. We got four more to get” | NBA News
Miami’s Jimmy Butler was named Eastern Conference Finals MVP, leading the Heat past the Boston Celtics in Game 7 and into the NBA Finals..
In the aftermath of the celebrations, the 33-year-old credited his team-mates while expressing a message of their ultimate goal.
“I have so much belief in myself and this group of guys,” Butler said after accepting the trophy. “And the squad that coach Pat [general manager Pat Riley], Spo [head coach Eril Spoelstra], and everybody else have put together.”
“Buzz [coach Buzz Williams] told me to rely and trust my team-mates on everything, I do the same thing here with Spo. My team-mates give me so much confidence to go out there and hoop at a high level”.
He continued: “We stayed together as a group, as a team, we talked about going to get a tough one on the road, and we did just that. But we’re not satisfied”.
“We’re excited, we’re happy, but we got four more [wins] to get.”
Those four wins will be at the mercy of the Denver Nuggets, who breezed past the Los Angeles Lakers and have had nine extra days of rest before they take to the court again on Thursday night in Game 1 of the NBA finals.
Meanwhile, the Heat achieved the milestone in a seven-game thriller, one year after the Celtics won a Game 7 on Miami’s floor.
“Next year, we will have enough, and we’re going to be right back in the same situation, and we’re going to get it done,” Butler vowed that night.
It was a hellish week, for sure. But the Heat made his wish come true, becoming the second No 8 seed to make the finals.
“Sometimes you have to suffer for the things that you really want,” Spoelstra commented. “And this group has shown fortitude. … We still have more to do”.
His team won’t have much time to smooth out any kinks as they only have three days of recovery before getting stuck in again, but they do have experience.
Indeed, Miami will be featuring in the finals for the seventh time, seeking their fourth championship ring, while the Nuggets are in the finals for the first time in franchise history.
If Denver prevails, their head coach Michael Malone will become the 36th coach in league history to win a championship.
Spoelstra is seeking his third title as a head coach; if he wins, he will join only Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Heat president Pat Riley, John Kundla, Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr as three-time champion coaches.