By Antonis Stroggylakis / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Miami Heat entered Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers with their backs against the wall against a Los Angeles Lakers squad that was sporting the Black Mamba jerseys like the hardest armor (they were 4-0 with that attire) and were determined to close the series.
Not on Jimmy Butler’s watch. The five-time All-Star posted his second triple-double in the Finals to lead the Heat to the win for the 3-2 in the series. As he emphasized after the game, he and his teammates were just not ready to go out yet.
“We’re in it to win it, we’re not backing down, we’re not scared of nobody,” Butler said.
The stage had been set for the appropriate festivities in the most probable scenario that the Lakers won Game 5 and thus the championship title. The Larry O’Brien trophy was in place and so were the confetti machines near the court. Family members of the Lakers’ players had been in a celebratory mood.
Butler just didn’t care.
“Not really, I don’t be paying attention to them over there,” Butler answered when he was asked if all these made the winning feeling any sweeter. “I don’t pay attention to the confetti machines. I do pay attention to Rondo’s son, Pierre though, that’s my guy. Other than that, I’ll be so locked in on the game, I’ll be locked in on my squad, because we’re here to win, we’re here to win. So for these next two we’re going to, we’re in the trenches.”
Out of the 16 players of both teams that stepped in, Butler spent the most time on the court, registering a game-high 47 minutes. The fatigue factor is irrelevant and he’s ready to do it again and again until his team completes its comeback.
“I left it all out there on the floor along with my guys, and that’s how we’re going to have to play from here on out,” Butler said. “Like I always say, it’s win or win for us. But this is the position that we’re in. We like it this way. We got two more in a row to get.”
Butler feels the Heat had been hardened throughout the season to react when facing even the toughest must-win situations.
“Like the work that we put in, we’re built for this, we have been doing this all year long. This didn’t just start in the bubble. We have been playing together, win, loss, draw, whatever, we’re in this thing together. And that’s what’s going to win us games.”
Who is going to step up for the Heat next time? Butler thinks that any one of his teammates can rise to the occasion and expressed his hope that Goran Dragic, who had been out since Game 1, can also be in the mix as well.
“I think night in and night out it could be anybody. It could be Bam, it could be hopefully Goran.”