After knocking out the first-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler claimed his team could play even better and he hopes that will show in the rest of the playoffs. On Tuesday, Butler scored 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out six assists to help the Heat beat the Bucks 103-94 in Game 5 for a 4-1 win in the series.
The Bucks will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals either the Boston Celtics or the Toronto Raptors. "No, I don't think so," Butler said, per ESPN. "I don't think we've played a full 48-minute game yet.
And that what's promising. When we do lock in and decide to play from start to finish, I think the game would be a lot easier. I don't think it's happened yet, but we have to next round." Butler, who arrived to the Heat last offseason, is thrilled to be in his first Conference Finals.
"It means a lot," Butler said of leading a team to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time. "But like you said, that's not my goal. That's not my guys' goal. It's not the organization's goal.
We want to win it, win a championship, and I think that's what we're focused on. These next eight are going to be much harder than the previous eight. We know that, but we're ready."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Butler is doing what he is supposed to do
The Heat signed Butler last offseason hoping he would be the leader the team needed.
Butler has been absolutely phenomenal throughout the playoffs so far and the results are showing. "I want our guys to just step back at least for a night, if not two nights, and just reflect," Spoelstra said. "It's not easy to get to the conference finals, and our organization knows that.
We've been trying desperately to get back to the conference finals. It's not our ultimate goal -- we get it -- but you can still acknowledge the journey, how hard it is to this point. "That is why we brought Jimmy Butler here.
That is why we put this team together with the veterans -- adding Andre [Iguodala] and Jae [Crowder], building around Goran [Dragic] and Bam [Adebayo], having a young core -- was to try and do something in the playoffs. It's not easy to get to the conference finals. Otherwise, every team would be doing it."