At the end of a season in which they have overturned the odds more than once to reach the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat hope they can pull off another upset despite going 3-1 down in the series with 108-95 defeat on Friday.
Miami’s win in Denver in game two on Sunday gave them the belief that they could go all the way, but two straight losses on their home court have left them on the brink of elimination.
Heat star Jimmy Butler, however, says his team have the character and ability to win out and crush Denver’s dream of a first NBA title.
“Now we are in a must-win situation every single game, which we’re capable of,” Butler said. “Some correctible things we’ve got to do, but it’s not impossible. We’ve got to go out there and do it.
“We’ve got three to get.”
“We don’t have no quit,” he added. “We are going to continually fight, starting tomorrow, to get better. And then we are going into Monday and do what we said we were going to do this entire time and win. We have to. We have no other choice. Otherwise, we did all this for no reason.”
Whatever adjustments Miami make, Butler says he isn’t about to start ignoring his shooters and playing a more selfish game, even if the likes of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent have struggled in the past two games.
“No, I won’t do it. I’ve got too much faith in my guys. Their shots will fall. They have been the reason behind us winning so many games, and I’m not letting that faith in them waver,” he said.
“I’m going to continue to play basketball the right way, pump confidence in those guys, and we are going to always live with the result.”
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra knows that playoff series can have plenty of twists and turns and that it isn’t always easy to close them out.
“I’ve been in those games, game five. Those are not the easiest games, at home,” he said of the task facing the Nuggets.
“All we’re focused on — I told the guys, feel whatever you want to feel tonight. It’s fine. You probably shouldn’t sleep tonight any amount of time.
“I don’t think anybody will. We have an incredibly competitive group. We’ve done everything the hard way, and that’s the way it’s going to have to be done right now, again,” he said.
“It’s going to be a gnarly game in Denver that is built for the competitors that we have in our locker room.
“We get an opportunity to play a super-competitive game in a great environment. That’s going to be an awesome environment. Our guys are built for that,” Spoelstra said.