Jimmy Butler says 3 things need to happen in order to win NBA title

4 Min Read
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler shared what three things need to happen in order for a team to win an NBA title.

“Nobody can tell you anything right now,” Butler told SLAM. “There are three things that you gotta have in order to win a championship: you’ve gotta be playing your best basketball at the right time, you gotta be healthy, and you gotta be lucky. That’s just the way that it is. So can’t nobody tell right now who’s going to have all three of those things.”

Butler and the Heat have made the NBA Finals twice since the start of the 2019-20 season, but they have yet to come away with a title. Last season, the Heat reached the Finals as the No. 8 seed in the East, but they lost to the Denver Nuggets in the championship round.

One of the keys Butler mentions is that a team needs to be playing its best basketball of the season at the right time, and it appears the Heat are doing that.

Per NBA.com’s advanced statistics, the Heat rank No. 1 in the NBA in net rating over their last 10 games, and they’ve compiled a 7-3 record over that stretch.

While it wasn’t enough for the Heat to avoid the play-in tournament (the team is the current No. 8 seed in the East), Miami had to deal with the play-in last season as well.

In the 2022-23 campaign, Miami actually lost its first play-in tournament game to the Atlanta Hawks, but it rebounded to defeat the Chicago Bulls and earn the No. 8 seed.

This season, the Heat will face Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers in the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchup in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament on Wednesday night. If the Heat win, they’ll earn the No. 7 seed and face the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.

As for Butler’s second key, health, it has been a concern for the Heat all season, especially with guard Tyler Herro. However, the former Sixth Man of the Year returned to the lineup late in the regular season and averaged 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists over Miami’s last six games of the regular season.

Herro is a major key for the Heat, as he missed the majority of the team’s postseason run in the 2022-23 campaign after getting injured in Game 1 of the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Miami is also holding out hope that guard Terry Rozier will be able to play in the play-in tournament and playoffs after dealing with a neck injury to close out the regular season.

As for the luck factor, it’s hard to quantify that in any way for Butler and the Heat, but the team saw last season how one injury (the Milwaukee Bucks losing Giannis Antetokounmpo for part of the first round) can alter the scope of the entire playoff picture.

Butler certainly knows what it takes to make the NBA Finals, but he’s hoping to lead his team to a different outcome – if the Heat get there – in the 2023-24 season. Miami’s play-in game against Philadelphia is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 17.

Share This Article
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.