If Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler is sweating after losing two straight games to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, he's not showing it. Following the team's 110-97 loss in Game 5, Butler confidently declared the Heat "will win this series."
Butler made those comments after posting his worst game in the series. Butler went 5-of-10 from the field, scoring 14 points in the loss. It was a far cry from earlier in the series, where Butler dropped 35 points in a Game 1 win and 27 points in a Game 2 win.
That didn't stop Butler from showing faith in himself and his team. "We are always going to stay positive, knowing that we can and we will win this series," Butler said. "We'll just have to close it out at home."
He doubled down on that last sentiment, ensuring the Heat are "going to win the next game."
The pressure is quickly shifting to the Heat after allowing the Celtics to get back in the series. The Heat jumped out to an impressive start, going up 3-0 early in the series. With their backs against the wall, the Celtics rallied, and won the next two games to force a Game 6 in Miami.
Butler's guarantee comes at a tough time considering how the series has played out, but it would be silly to doubt him at this point. The Heat entered the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Facing low expectations, the team upset the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks before going up 3-0 on the Celtics.
On top of that, Butler has a reputation for upping his game in the postseason. He continues to deny the "Playoff Jimmy" narrative, but opposing teams might disagree considering how well Butler has played this postseason.
If Butler has proved anything during this run, it's that he doesn't let pressure or narrative affect his play. If Butler can maintain his composure entering Game 6, he could wind up delivering on his promise.
If not, expect Butler to retain his immense confident for Game 7.