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Jimmy Butler’s message to Heat doubters who expect 3 more Lakers blowouts

Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, LeBron James, Lakers, Heat

Jimmy Butler has never lacked in confidence, whether in himself or in his teammates with the Miami Heat.

After all, it was Butler who proclaimed to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that the Heat can win the NBA title even before the playoffs began, when they were the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. This self-belief is part of the reason why the 31-year-old was able to lead Miami past the rest of the East and to the Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. 

So when the five-time All Star was asked whether the Heat would be blown out again like they did in Game 1 of the Finals, which they lost, 116-98, he was defiant and remains confident of his team’s chances heading into Game 2.

“Everybody probably thought they were gonna do that to us anyways. Probably think they’re gonna do that 3 more times. I beg to differ. No one picked us to be here. We embrace it, we love it, and we know that we can win, but we’ve got to play perfect. So coming into game 2, backs against the wall, yada yada yada, we’re gonna win.”

In the Finals opener, Butler led the Heat with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, two rebounds, five assists, and two steals. But even a strong start in the first six minutes for Miami  couldn’t prevent the Lakers from turning the game into a blowout behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. To make things worse, the 31-year-old twisted his left ankle late in the first half and was hobbled for the rest of the game. Butler, however, said after the game that while the ankle is sore, he will be fine and is expected to play in Game 2. 

Butler has been proving doubters wrong for most of his career, from those who questioned whether he was talented enough to build a franchise around while with Chicago Bulls, to proving the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers that it was a mistake to let him go. Now, against the biggest challenge they’ve faced in the playoffs, he has a chance to prove everyone wrong once more.