Jimmy Butler’s supremely confident message with Miami Heat being down 0-1 to Denver Nuggets

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Jimmy Butler remains completely confident that the Miami Heat are on their way to a championship even though they lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Denver Nuggets.

It’s not quite a guarantee, but Butler clearly believes the Heat can get the four wins necessary to claim the title.

The Heat have lost four of their past five playoff games but won the one that counted most, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on Monday. Miami lost three in a row before that 103-84 victory and was in danger of becoming the first NBA team to lose a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-0 lead.

Game 1 of the Finals at Denver may have been a letdown after such an emotional series. The Heat were defeated 104-93 and trailed by as many as 24 points. Butler managed to score just 13 points, his lowest output of the playoffs, and afterward, vowed he would be more aggressive on offense in Game 2 on Sunday night.

The Heat star wasn’t the only one to have a bad opener for Miami. Caleb Martin, who scored 26 points in Game 7 against the Celtics, had just three points on 1-for-7 shooting. The forward did not practice Saturday because of an illness, which may explain his subpar performance.

The Heat could get a boost if Tyler Herro is okay to return to play in the series. The guard has not played since breaking his hand in Game 1 of the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks but reportedly is inching closer to coming back.

Denver is playing in the NBA Finals for the first time and certainly had the emotion of the crowd on its side in Game 1. Led by the offense of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the Nuggets are undefeated at home in these playoffs (9-0) and have won seven straight games overall.

Butler has been outstanding throughout the playoffs and was named MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals. In the opinion of one veteran NBA scout, the 33-year-old has vaulted himself among the top 10 players in the league.

Miami has responded at every turn during the playoffs, especially after losing Game 6 to Boston at home, and there’s no reason to believe the Heat and Butler can’t do so again.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.