Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra offer inspiring messages with Miami Heat down 3-1 in NBA Finals

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and star player Jimmy Butler both had uplifting messages with the team facing a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals.

Butler explained that the team needs to take things one game at a time, no matter what the analytics say about Miami’s chances of coming back to win the series against Denver.

Spoelstra had a similar message, pointing out that the team is used to being counted out.

Only one team in NBA history has erased a 3-1 deficit in the Finals, and that was the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers, who were led by LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. Cleveland beat the Golden State Warriors in that series behind some dazzling showings from James and Irving scoring the ball.

Love, ironically, is on the Heat, who now face the same challenge against the Denver Nuggets.

Miami has been an underdog all postseason, coming into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat promptly upset the Milwaukee Bucks in five games, showing that they weren’t a normal No. 8 seed.

The Denver series has been a little different for the Heat, as they’ve really struggled to compete with the Nuggets’ depth. Role players like Max Strus, Caleb Martin and even Gabe Vincent in Games 3 and 4, have struggled to give the team the same production they did earlier in the postseason.

The other issue for the Heat in this series has been their play at home. Miami was 6-0 at home in the playoffs prior to Game 4 against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the team has lost four straight in its home building, including two to Denver.

Still, Butler’s message is one that the Heat have to believe in.

The team needs to win Game 5 in Denver before it can even worry about a Game 6. The comeback in this series will have to come one game at a time for the Heat.

Game 5 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for Monday, June 12 at Ball Arena in Denver. The Heat will look to come out with the same urgency they had in Game 2 to keep their magical season alive.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.