Jimmy Butler issues supremely confident message about starting season after shortest offseason ever

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Miami Heat veteran Jimmy Butler is poised to start another season and has high hopes for how far the Heat can go.

Butler didn’t play in any of the Heat’s preseason contests after leading the team to the NBA Finals just two months ago. Thanks to that, he feels fresh and ready to take the court for his team’s season opener.

“I’m good to go,” Butler said. “I think it was a mutual decision. The coaches, the organization know what they’re doing. I’m ready to hoop. When I’m out there in practice, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, working on my game every single day. I’m ready to go. Now that things start to get real, we’re built for it.”

It seems that time off the court also gave him an opportunity to take stock of the talent on Miami’s roster.

“I think we’re championship caliber,” Butler said. “I think the group that coach Pat [Riley] and Spo (Erik Spoelstra) and Andy [Elisburg] put together is to get over the hump that we couldn’t reach last year. I think everybody is locked in. We’re going to continue to grow. We’re going to continue to get better each and every day and continue to learn each other’s strengths. I think our goal is to win it all.”

Butler brought a ferocious approach to the Heat after being acquired last year. He helped turn a team that had missed the playoffs the previous season into one that reached the NBA Finals for the first time in six years.

One of the ways that Butler displayed his leadership last season was the role he played in the Heat’s two wins in the finals. While that series ended in frustrating fashion, it’s clear that Butler is fully recharged to make another bid for a league title.

That quest begins on Wednesday night, when the Heat open up on the road against the Orlando Magic. That’s followed by a Christmas Day matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.