After losing the first game of the NBA finals, the Miami Heat made a resounding comeback to level the series against Denver Nuggets. The Heat won by 111-108 on Sunday night to make it 1-1 in the series.
Jimmy Butler revealed the mantra which has worked wonders for the team and the one on which they keep falling back when they have their backs against the wall – keep doing what is working and don’t think about what anybody thinks.
And the same has worked for Heat, who had finished as the no. 8 seed. Butler scored 21 points and nine assists in 40 minutes and played a key role in the team’s leveling win.
“I just think nobody cares on our team,” Butler said. “We’re not worried about what anybody thinks. We’re so focused in on what we do well and who we are as a group that at the end of the day, that’s what we fall back on. Make or miss shots, we’re going to be who we are because we’re not worried about anybody else. That’s how it’s been all year long, and that’s not going to change. So that’s what I think it is. I think it’s the ‘I don’t give a damn’ factor.”
In fact, the Heat have had to face some difficult moments during this season but they have bounced back with greater resilience. Head coach Erik Spoelstra admitted the same and lauded his players for making a solid return.
“We faced a lot of adversity during the season,” Spoelstra said. “We handled it the right way where you are not making excuses about it, the injuries, the changing lineups. Because of all that adversity and the 57 close games that happened, due to a lot of that, it hardened us. It steeled us, and we developed some grit, which is what we all want.
“We want to be able to have that privilege of having adversity and being able to overcome it. You gain strength from that. But this is a very tough opponent. They have our full respect, for sure.”
Gabe Vincent, who scored 23 points for the Heat, added the players are quite ‘comfortable’ as well as ‘experienced’ in holding their nerves in crunch situations of the game and it is key to their success.
“It’s just part of our DNA, for one,” Vincent said. “You know, everyone on this team has battled through adversity in some manner and been knocked down and had to get back up. And for No. 2, we have a lot of experience in these close games. So when it comes down to the wire, we are strangely comfortable.”
The third game of the NBA finals will be played on Wednesday night.