Fast forward three more games, and the series has been evened up in a stunning turn of events.
Following Boston’s miraculous Game 6 win, featuring a buzzer beater from Derrick White, Butler spoke to reporters, during which he revealed what he told his teammates in the aftermath of the loss on their home court.
“[I] let them know that as good or as bad we played tonight, we still lost, so we still got a job to do at the end of the day. And we will be in this thing together, home, away, on the road,” said Butler.
"I told the guys in the locker room that if I play better, we're not even in this position."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 28, 2023
— Jimmy Butlerpic.twitter.com/DuzFm5GCxK
“I told the guys on the bench, I told the guys in the locker room that ‘If I play better, we’re not even in this position.’ Honestly speaking. And I will be better. And that’s what makes me smile, because those guys follow my lead, so when I’m playing better, I think we’re playing better as a whole.”
Butler struggled to find his shooting touch throughout the game and became less aggressive on offense throughout the game as a result. But he finished with a team-high 24 points, albeit on 5-of-21 shooting from the field, while providing 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Butler didn’t hide from the fact that had he turned in a better individual performance, the team may not find themselves in their current situation.
Miami will look to rally and escape a historic reverse sweep against the Celtics on Monday in Game 7, though it’ll be disappointed to have missed out on yet another chance to close out the series on its home court.