Not many people expected the Miami Heat to be in this position right now. Well, except the Miami Heat.
How could a five seed with no perceived superstar take the crown of the East?
And there’s not one answer for that question.
For starters, it begins with the confidence from your locker room. Just a bunch of dogs that have continually been doubted and are here to prove people wrong.
That’s led by the leader of this team, Jimmy Butler. He hasn’t lacked an ounce of confidence throughout this playoff run, so what makes you think he’ll stop now. Even being down 3-1 doesn’t seem to faze him, because when you have confidence in both yourself and your locker room, that’s all you really need to win.
Another reason they’ve gotten to this point is because they have a bunch of guys who accepted their role on this team. That goes to the guys who were promoted and demoted in this rotation. Meyers Leonard and Kendrick Nunn going from starter to the borderline of the rotation, while Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic had to adjust to their new role quick. Not only is that not an easy thing to do, it’s not an easy thing for players to buy into.
Winning isn’t always about on-court stats and numbers. It’s also about decisions that are made off of the court, that’ll lead to guys putting up those numbers.
Erik Spoelstra made it clear that was necessary heading in, making sure this team was on the same page for the much needed adjustments that lied ahead. That’s because of the trust factor with this team.
When many believed Bam’s offensive aggression needed to improve or that Jimmy’s unselfishness may be a bad trait, Coach Spo knew his personnel, and denied it all.
The final and most important answer to that question is hungriness.
This team is hungry and will not be satisfied until they hold up that Larry O’Brien trophy. No matter if that time comes in a week, in a year, or in a few years, this team won’t let up on the ultimate goal.
As Gary Payton said in his latest piece for The Players’ Tribune, “Y’all are still here- and y-all belong here.”
One year. One goal. One winner.
Brady Hawk can be found at @BradyHawk305