The Miami Heat are a special team. Her competitive instinct was given the name "Heat culture." The desire to win, the ability to be ready at any moment and show everyone that they are a team that can go far. Their success in the playoffs stemmed precisely from the recognition of lack. The personal lack of the players, and the lack of a team that was close in the past and did not succeed.
On the one hand, you can't be surprised by Miami's ability to reach these positions. Since Jimmy Butler came to the team 4 seasons ago, they have reached the Eastern Conference Finals 3 times and are now completing a second promotion to the Finals overall. They are used to these positions and despite the criticism and distrust of them, they shut their ears and go with their hearts. On the other hand, the journey they went through this year was particularly strange and challenging. All season they didn't find themselves – injuries, short and long rotations, supporting players, the No. 4 position wasn't good enough, and the threes that had been their main characteristic in recent seasons didn't come in.
More than half of their regular-season games ended by less than 10, which was enough for them to place seventh and play their first play-in game in Florida. Against the Atlanta Hawks they struggled, something didn't connect, and Atlanta took advantage of that to move up from seventh place against Boston.
Miami. Nothing comes easy, Photo: USA TODAY Sport
"After losing the game, we sat in the viewing room and opened everything, the good and the bad, and everybody said we felt like we didn't want to go home," head coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday night. From here the Heat took themselves into their own hands and even falling behind against the Chicago Bulls they did not give up and managed to move up from eighth place.
In the first round, one of the top teams, the Milwaukee Bucks, was waiting. The team has one of the best players in the world, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and with him one of the best guards in the league – Jrue Holiday. Miami had already met them twice in previous seasons, each being the opposite of the other. Miami came to prove that the bubble victory wasn't accidental and took advantage of Milwaukee's main weakness – three-point defense. Max Strus and Duncan Robinson, two undrafted players who came in as sharpshooters, exploded in the series. It ended in 5 games in which Butler surpassed and averaged 37.6 points.
In the second round, Miami faced the defensive monster of the New York Knicks, a team that beat them 3 times in the regular season. Even after Jimmy Butler's injury in Game 6, the team grew stronger and despite Jalen Brunson's insane ability, the Heat advanced to the next level in <> games.
Caleb Martin. It was huge, Photo: USA TODAY Sport
Against all commentators
ESPN pundits gave the Heat 3% to beat last season's finalist, the Boston Celtics. Even the fans of the red team did not believe that it was possible to beat the top contender for the championship. But Butler believed it and sent a "congratulatory video" in which he was looking forward to Boston.
At TD Garden, one of the best venues in the league with huge crowds, Miami won with a lot of character and a strong mentality. Butler was at his best, Bam Adebayo came in aggressive, and Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin were also instrumental in the win. In Game 3, Miami led and ended it with a Celtics defeat. In between games, Miami talked about how a story needs to be closed, but words and actions are separate. Boston this time felt the end was near, and did what it could to win. The next two games were impressive wins for the Celtics.
Before Game 3, Miami and Butler prepared and said they were going to win, and it wasn't far off. Boston had the lead in the final quarter, but Miami once again felt the ground drop beneath its feet and regained a one-point lead with <> seconds left. Derrick White broke her heart with an offensive rebound and a basket that came at the buzzer. Once again, Miami feels like it's going to end its season too soon.
Butler and Spoelstra. Want a ring, photo: AFP
For Game 28, Miami arrived full of faith, so much so that it booked a flight to Denver instead of back to Florida: "After the deeds, hearts are drawn," the education book wrote, and that's exactly what happened. Miami took control of the game in the first quarter and led throughout the game. In the fourth quarter, the gap grew and the Heat's smile too. The two leading players in the series were Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin who scored 26 and <> respectively.
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Miami's success comes from failure. They saw the end of the season at the edge, and that's what spurred them time and time again. Even on a personal level, these players who came to the league the hard way, know what it feels like when there isn't. They were already out of the league and got another chance, so they will give everything to go as far as possible, so as not to end the season without the goal for which they gathered – a ring.
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