After the Miami Heat’s two-point loss to the Boston Celtics Wednesday dropped them to 3-4 on the season, Jimmy Butler expressed frustration with his team not “playing hard” or living up to the Heat culture.
Jimmy Butler says there’s no excuses to not playing hard, the culture we say that we have. We aren’t doing that. Nobody is. Not me, not Bam, nobody. We better figure it out real soon. pic.twitter.com/Vx5RO6lmdh— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) January 7, 2021
Butler mentioned “not finishing possessions,” which could’ve been a reference to Tyler Herro ball-watching instead of boxing out a streaking Payton Pritchard for the game-winning tip-in last night.
The Heat have alternated losses and wins through the first seven games of the season. Does this mean we’ll see Butler team up with KZ Okpala and Chris Silva in an upcoming legendary team practice? I don’t think we’re there yet.
It’s also important to keep perspective in mind. The Heat played middling basketball for the first two-and-a-half months of 2020 before the NBA suspended its season in the middle of a frustrating loss to the Charlotte Hornets, who didn’t get invited to the bubble.
One person who is probably happy that Butler said this publicly? Pat Riley. The Heat president said after the 2018-19 season that he would be “tightening the screws on a culture that sometimes erodes just a little bit.” Now it seems like Butler will be doing the tightening.