Jimmy Butler says he doesn’t ‘give a damn’ that Miami Heat aren’t popular pick to win NBA title

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The Miami Heat may have fallen short of expectations in the regular season, but that’s not stopping Jimmy Butler from entering the playoffs with confidence.

The veteran explained that he doesn’t care that “nobody” is picking the Heat to win it all this year, mentioning that the same was true last season when the Heat made a run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Heat have had some magical playoff runs in recent years, but there’s a belief among fans that the team has a low ceiling in the 2023 postseason. That’s due in large part to the inconsistent nature of the team’s regular season, a trend that caused it to land in the play-in tournament.

Miami will need to escape the play-in before it can start thinking about a potential playoff series, but the team is in pretty good shape to advance. The Heat will have two chances to win one game. If they can take care of business against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, they’ll find themselves in the Eastern Conference bracket as the No. 7 seed.

Many fans feel that the 2022-23 Heat are similar to the 2020-21 Heat, who had an iffy regular season before taking a first-round exit in the playoffs. That may end up being true, but the hope is that this year’s Heat squad will instead have a run similar to the ones the team went on in 2020 and 2022.

Butler’s confidence is a good sign, though fans have come to expect nothing less from him. It’s a safe bet that he’s going to play with lots of intensity this postseason as he does every year when the lights are the brightest.

The six-time All-Star was dominant in last year’s playoffs, averaging 27.4 points per contest across 17 games. Time will tell if he’s able to repeat that sort of production this time around.

Regardless of the way Miami’s 2022-23 regular season went, the team still has a roster that looks a lot like it did during last season’s Eastern Conference Finals run, so the Heat can’t be counted out in the East until they’re officially eliminated from contention.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.