The Heat’s 103–84 Game 7 rout of the Celtics in Boston was an outcome few could’ve seen coming to fruition. Unless, of course, you include Jimmy Butler, who called Miami’s 2023 NBA Finals bid over a year ago to the day of Monday’s lopsided victory.
An old clip of Butler predicting the outcome of this year’s Eastern Conference finals resurfaced following Game 7 as the Heat celebrated their second NBA Finals berth in four seasons. As many may remember, the 2022 East finals saw the Celtics hang on to defeat the Heat, 100–96, on the road in Game 7 to secure a meeting with the eventual champion Warriors.
Butler, the 2023 ECF finals MVP, capped an instant classic series against Boston this postseason with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a win that saw the team avoid an all-time collapse after squandering a 3–0 lead. But, while the circumstances were likely never in the minds of Butler or any Heat or Celtics players, the star guard nailed his prediction nonetheless.
“We had enough. Next year, we will have enough and we’re gonna be right back in this same situation and we’re gonna get it done,” said Butler, whose missed three in the closing seconds of Game 7 became one of last year’s series’s most-discussed storylines.
"We had enough. Next year, we will have enough and we're gonna be right back in this same situation and we're gonna get it done."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 30, 2023
Jimmy Butler said this after the Heat lost Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals to the Celtics and backed it up 🔥pic.twitter.com/pN3RcCLVeh
As fate would have it, Boston’s win last May occurred exactly one year to the day of this year’s Game 7, allowing Butler and Miami to exact revenge in quite possibly the most satisfying way imaginable.
With Butler’s bold guarantee now a reality, the Heat will head into an NBA Finals matchup against Nikola Jokic and the top-seed Nuggets, beginning in Denver on Thursday. Miami will look to conclude its epic run, which began in the play-in tournament, by winning the franchise’s fourth NBA title as the second eighth seed in history to advance to the NBA Finals.