ORLANDO – The Miami Heat head into the NBA Finals ready to take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Heat clinched the Eastern Conference Championship, after knocking off the favored Boston Celtics.
Heat forward Jimmy Butler understands that many people are picking against the Heat, but he does not see that as the team’s mentality.
Butler said Tuesday, “I’m not going to say that we’re better than anybody else, but I don’t think we’re underdogs, I just don’t. So what that nobody picked us to be here. That’s okay. I’m pretty sure that nobody picking us to win either, that’s ok. We understand that, we embrace that.”
Butler added, "At the end of the day, we’re going to do it our way, the Miami Heat way, that’s worked for us all year long.
Butler showed plenty of respect to LeBron James, who, at age 35, is appearing in his 10th NBA Finals.
Butler said, “He’s still at the top of his game at 35 at 26 at 21. He’s still dominating. You’ve had to go through him at 26 at 35, probably at 49. He’s shown why he is the player that he is and why he’s had the legacy that he’s building.”
Butler did add, “If anyone is up to that task, the Miami Heat are.”
Bam Adebayo said that the Heat have been getting ready for this moment since last September.
He said that the Heat have been “shaping and morphing” over the past two weeks.
Adebayo said, “We’re in the Playoffs, this is win or go home. So, when you have that type of mindset, you have to back that up. I’ve been doing it and I need to keep doing it.”
Guard Goran Dragic said that after the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat grabbed a few beers in the hotel lobby, but on Tuesday, it was back to the business of trying to beat the Lakers.
Dragic said, “It means everything to me. That’s why I came to this organization to win something... I’m not a quitter. I try to stay with it and do my job.”
Game 1 of the Finals is Wednesday at 9 p.m. on Local 10.