Miami Heat, the reigning Eastern Conference champions are 6-12, with their roster decimated by injuries and coronavirus-related issues.
NBA Finals: Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler confident team will get better after losing title fight to Lakers
It was Butler's determined triple-double that propelled the Heat to a game-five victory over the Lakers that temporarily put their championship celebrations on hold.
47:11 minutes. 35 points. 12 rebounds. 11 assists. Five steals. Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler did everything in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to prevent the Lakers from winning their 17th Championship.
NBA Finals' Game 4 is Tuesday night, and much like Jimmy Butler's coffee-sales strategy, the Heat may stick with what works.
Not many would have predicted the Miami Heat making it to the NBA Finals. How did they do it? Heat Culture.
NBA: Miami Heat topple Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference Finals to earn finals spot against LA Lakers
The Heat are the only NBA franchise with six Finals appearances in the last 15 years. They’re seeking their fourth title, and this chance didn’t come easily.
“There’s just two things that I won’t ever let be questioned and that’s character and work ethic," Meyers Leonard said. "So I’m trying to make my impact now from the sideline.”
The Heat said only that Butler, who scored 22 points in Miami’s restart-opening win over Denver on Saturday, had an excused absence.
NBA: Dwyane Wade expresses gratitude towards Miami Heat management, recalls friend Kobe Bryant at jersey retirement ceremony
Dwyane Wade went through a long list of thank-you's as he delivered a 20-minute speech at his jersey retirement ceremony, mentioning everyone from his business manager and the Dwyane Wade ball boys to Pat Riley.
NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Bucks to 13th consecutive victory; LeBron James, Anthony Davis shine as Lakers thrash Jazz
The last time Antetokounmpo's Bucks had a longer winning streak than this was when they won 16 in a row spanning the end of the 1972-73 season and the beginning of 1973-74
NBA: LaMarcus Aldridge stars as Spurs hand Warriors third straight loss; LeBron James nets 51 points in Lakers' win over Heat
James, who led the Heat to two NBA titles, made it look easy from the opening tipoff, scoring 19 points in the first quarter on the way to a season high.
NBA: Boston Celtics seal playoffs spot with win over Minnesota Timberwolves; Golden State Warriors triumph
For Celtics, it marks the earliest in a season that they've clinched a playoff berth since 2011.
After the 123-95 defeat to Golden State Warriors, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra summed up the match by saying, "When they smell blood, they go for it."
NBA: LeBron James ejected for the 1st time in his career as Cleveland Cavaliers march to victory over Miami Heat
It was the first time James was ejected in 1,082 career regular-season games.
NBA 2017-18: From LeBron James' records to Spurs chasing history, 10 things to look out for in the new season
The offseason was loaded with changes. Carmelo Anthony and Paul George went to Oklahoma City, Gordon Hayward and Irving went to Boston, Isaiah Thomas got sent to Cleveland, Jimmy Butler is now in Minnesota and Paul Millsap calls Denver home.