Jimmy Butler says the Heat are still ‘all smiles’ and that he knows Miami will win Game 6

"We'll just have to close it out at home," Butler said.

Jimmy Butler says the Heat are keeping it positive, despite a crushing Game 5 loss. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Jimmy Butler’s energy was completely different from the last time he walked into a postgame press conference at TD Garden.

On Sunday night following Game 3, Butler sang as he strutted in, playing Morgan Wallen’s 2021 single “Somebody’s Problem” from his smartphone. He yelled and clapped his hands as he left the TD Garden floor. He said “hell no” when asked if Grant Williams was the answer to stopping him.

But Sunday night’s postgame presser following Game 5 showed a more quiet and reserved Butler. There was no singing or trash talk this time. The Celtics crushed the Heat with a 110-97 win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals and forced a Game 6 on Saturday night in Miami.


“We just have to play better, start the game off better, make it more difficult for them” Butler said. ” They were in a rhythm since the beginning of the game. But we’re always going to keep it very positive knowing that we can and we will win this series. We’ll just have to close it out at home.”

Miami, which leads the series 3-2, is now on a two-game losing streak. The Celtics could even the series and force a decisive Game 7 with a win on Saturday.

Butler insists that the last two games, both of which the Celtics won by double-digits, are not indicative of who the Heat really are. The Heat stopped playing defense, he said, when they saw that their shots weren’t falling.

“That’s easily correctable,” Butler said. “We just have to come out and play harder. Like I always say, it’s going to be all smiles.”

Butler won’t find much to smile about on his stat sheet. He only got 10 shots off during the entire game and was held to 14 points in 34 minutes. He missed both of his 3-point attempts.

Seldom-used reserve Haywood Highsmith, who played a total of 7 minutes in this series before Thursday night, outscored Butler with 15 points.


“Our offense was disjointed a little bit,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We weren’t able to initiate our offense, get the ball where it needed to go in spots where you could operate. If we can get Jimmy in his comfort zones and strength zones more consistently, we’ll be just fine. We’ll work on that in the next 48 hours.”

The performance marks a sizable turnaround from the first three games of the series, which prompted Celtics coach Joe Mazulla to say the team had lost its defensive identity on Sunday night.

Boston looked engaged, aggressive, and connected on defense, holding Miami under 100 points for the second-straight game.

After explaining Miami’s offensive struggles, Spoelstra laughed off a question about whether he was concerned about the mood of his team.

“Who cares about mood?” Spoelstra said with a smile. “We have a gnarly group. I think so much of that is overrated. It’s a competitive series. You always expect things to be challenging in the conference finals.”


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