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“A really good team. Not going to say that we’re any better than anybody else, but I just don’t think that we’re underdogs. I don’t,” Butler said on media day.
“So what that nobody picked us to be here? That’s OK. Pretty sure nobody is picking us to win, either. That’s OK. But we understand that. We embrace that, because, at the end of the day, we truly don’t care. We’re just going to go out here and compete, play together like we always have, and I’m going to see where we end up.”
Miami’s title odds were at 75-to-1 entering the season, which ESPN said was the lowest by any Finals team of the last 30 years (only New Jersey nearly 20 years ago came close at 60-1 and no other finalists had worse than 30-1 odds, per ESPN).
SPREADING THE LOVE
Speaking to Miami’s impressive versatility and team-first attitude is the fact that three different players have led the Heat in scoring in the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Goran Dragic was the major thorn in Indiana’s side, Butler went off against title favourite Milwaukee and Adebayo absolutely destroyed the Celtics in the conference final.
According to ESPN, only four other finalists have had three different scoring leaders in the previous rounds and all four of those teams went on to win it all.
While Los Angeles has the top two players in the series by a huge margin in James and Davis, there’s a case to be made Miami has the next four in Butler, Adebayo, Dragic and Tyler Herro (though Danny Green might get a veteran edge over Herro based on experience and past Finals success with San Antonio).