The Miami Heat are reeling, and Jimmy Butler is clearly not amused.
In a season that has been filled with more lows than highs, Miami may have found itself at rock bottom on Saturday after losing at home to the San Antonio Spurs, one of the league’s worst squads this season.
The defeat came on the heels of a strong win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. Miami’s inability to build momentum has Butler bemoaning the team’s lack of consistency.
“That’s the league for you,” the 33-year-old star said. “This game as a whole will for sure humble you and I think that’s where we’re at. We think we’re really good, which we are. But I think we got to go out and prove it more, be together every single possession on both sides of the floor and start figuring this thing out and get some dubs. I’m tired of answering these same questions, being up here honestly.”
The Heat came into the 2022-23 campaign with high expectations after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season and bringing back almost the same core group of players. However, they are just 12-15 and hold the No. 10 position in the conference.
While the six-time All-Star doesn’t seem to be overly concerned, he is evidently not thrilled that Miami has failed to live up to its potential so far.
“I shouldn’t say I’m not worried,” Butler said. “I don’t think that’s the right terminology for it. We show flashes of what we can be and who we are. It’s like, damn, whenever we get away from that, it looks bad.”
Butler is doing his best to keep the franchise afloat. For instance, he had another stellar game against the Spurs, contributing 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting.
However, the Heat couldn’t contain an inspired San Antonio offense, allowing their opponent to score 115 points and convert 53.8 percent of its shots from the field. The Spurs seemed motivated to give their head coach Gregg Popovich a victory on the 26th anniversary of his first game as coach of the organization.
It was an uncharacteristic night for Miami, as it is one of the stingiest defenses in the league this season, allowing just 110.3 points per contest. But, the Saturday match is an example of the inconsistency that Butler alluded to.
There is still time for the team to turn things around. However, the next few games will be quite challenging because it will embark on a four-game road trip that will begin with a bout against the Indiana Pacers on Monday and end with a rematch against San Antonio on Saturday.
Hopefully, Butler’s message will serve as a wake-up call for the Heat and instill a sense of urgency in them. Otherwise, they might fall further in the standings and find themselves out of the postseason picture.