NBA

Mixed feelings surround the Heat as Jimmy Butler laments missed shots and coach Erik Spoelstra has ‘no regrets’

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The Heat gave it their all last night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Denver, but weren’t enough to stop the Nuggets desire to reach their first ever championship. The series finished 4-1 in the Colorado franchise’s favor, after this Monday’s 94-89 victory over Miami.

Jimmy Butler finally found the best version of himself during the fourth quarter of last night’s contest, after the first three he was nowhere to be found. The 33-year-old had to see his rival star Nikola Jokic crowned the Finals MVP while confetti fell over him.

“Sometimes it’s just not your time,” coach Erik Spoelstra admitted. “But what I can tell you, we’re all hard-wired to compete for the ultimate prize.”

His star foward dropped 13 of his 21 points in that final quarter, but also missed a jumper from the deep that could’ve tied the match at 92 points with less than a minute to the clock. “That I turned the ball over. That’s what stood out,” Butler said about the last two minutes of play.

After the match, he dedicated his praise to his team, who has a bunch of undrafted players and made it all the way to the NBA Finals, overcoming the two-highest seeds in their conference (Milwaukee No. 1 and Boston No. 2).

“I’m grateful to be able to compete with these guys,” Butler said with pride. “You never know what the team is going to look like next year, the year after that. I’m just grateful. I learned so much. They taught me so much. I wish I could have got it done for these guys because they definitely deserve it.”

Spoelstra then added that the spirit of this Miami team was strong because it even represented many people outside of Florida.

“This is a team that a lot of people can relate to – if you ever felt that you were dismissed or felt that you were made to feel less than,” he added. “We had a lot of people in our locker room that probably have had that, and there’s probably a lot of people out there that have felt that at some time or another.

“But also the way this team handled setbacks and adversity, to develop a collective grit and perseverance.”

The Heat coach assures everyone around that his team has ‘no regrets’ after losing the championship series 4-1

“I’ll speak for everybody in our locker room and the organization – congratulations to the Denver Nuggets organization,” Spoelstra said. “They are a class act and they are one hell of a basketball team. One hell of a basketball team that we couldn’t really find enough solutions to be able to get us over the top.”

Take a look at the trainer’s full postgame interview after this Monday’s Game 5:

No doubt that the Nuggets are the NBA’s hardest team to guard, as Miami proved they were able to contain their rival’s relentless attacks during parts of the match. They might of made sure to follow Jamal Murray around the court, but Jokic simply was impossible to hold off.

The Serbian star still ended the contest with 28 points and 16 rebounds to his name. While Spoelstra was quick to say: “There’s no regret from our side.”

“Everybody – staff, players alike – in the locker room put themselves out there and put themselves into the team, whatever was best for the team. And the tough pill to swallow is it just wasn’t good enough. We ran up against a team that was just better than us in this series,” he concluded.