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NBA FINALS: LAKERS VS. HEAT


October 9, 2020


Jimmy Butler


Miami Heat

Game 5: Postgame


Miami Heat -111, Lost Angeles Lakers - 108

Q. The way you walked in and the way you're exhaling sort of gives me the answer already. But how tired are you at this point and how tired were you in those moments where you're slumped over the board before the free throws and then Spo's burning timeouts to get you more air, just what's left right now?

JIMMY BUTLER: Nothing. I left it all out there on the floor along with my guys, and that's how we're going to have to play from here on out. Like I always say, it's win or win for us. But this is the position that we're in. We like it this way. We got two more in a row to get.

Q. You've obviously had plenty of big games in your career, but why do you think in this moment on this stage you've been able to continually go to the well and lift your own performance night to night?

JIMMY BUTLER: Because that's what my team asks of me, that's what they need me to do, and I think Coach Pat and Coach Spo brought me here for that reason; to help us win games and I have to continue to do that for two more games. I know that I'm capable of it, but I got a hell of a group of guys around me that make my job a lot easier. I'm fortunate for those guys because when I pass it to them they make shots. When I get beat going to the rim, they're there. So we're in this thing together and they give me a lot of confidence to go out there and hoop.

Q. Throughout since you guys were down 3-1 Spo talked about it, you talked about it that it's not just survive one more, this is part of our story, to get to where we want to go. Where does that confidence come from and how did that play out today?

JIMMY BUTLER: Look, man, I can say it every time I'm up here, but we live for these moments. Like the work that we put in, we're built for this, we have been doing this all year long. This didn't just start in the bubble. We have been playing together, win, loss, draw, whatever, we're in this thing together. And that's what's going to win us games. I think night in and night out it could be anybody. It could be Bam, it could be hopefully Goran. Like we're so together when we're out there on the floor, off the floor, that's why we win because everybody wants everybody to be successful.

Q. You've been defending LeBron for a number of years, going back to Chicago. When he's hitting the jumper like that, how do you stay calm and stay disciplined when he's hitting the jumper and the Lakers keep coming, how do you keep your team sort of at an even keel and not sort of getting caught up in the moment?

JIMMY BUTLER: I mean, if you're the best player in the world, you're supposed to be able to do that. We keep our head high knowing that he's going to hit some tough ones. That's what really, really, really great players do. But we ain't backing down. We ain't shying away. We can go on the other end and do what we do.

I think he had a hell of a performance tonight, along with AD, the whole team. But we're still fighting. We're in it to win it, we're not backing down, we're not scared of nobody.

Q. You've been saying throughout the series that to get to where you want to go, you always have to go through a LeBron James' team. Now you're living that moment play to play, possession to possession and tonight was just epic, with you two making play after play at each end. What's that like for you to do, especially on this stage in 47 minutes of basketball?

JIMMY BUTLER: I think it's easy whenever I have the group of guys that I have around me and that I have the coaching staff that believes I can play at a high level. Coach Pat brought me here to play at a high level. I got so many people in my ear just telling me to keep doing what I've been doing, play basketball the right way and we're going to end up winning. So that's why I smile, knowing that we're always going to play the right way and we're always going to live with the result, because we're going to leave it all out there on the floor.

Q. Did you know that when you went up against a LeBron James' team in this environment that you would play the way that you're playing right now?

JIMMY BUTLER: I know that I'm capable of it. I believe in my skill set and my talent. My teammates do as well. But it's not just me, Duncan had a hell of a game, K-Nunn came in and did what K-Nunn did. Bam had a huge one. All of us, all of us was the reason that we won this game and it's going to be the same way for the next two.

Q. I know you just mentioned Duncan's game and I know you've been in his ear a little bit, how is he able to get some shots tonight when they make it so difficult for him to even get a shot off? And what have you been saying to him?

JIMMY BUTLER: To stop running from the basketball, can't shoot the ball if you don't have the ball. I think he gets lost in trying to get other people open, when everybody is going to react to him probably more so than they're going to react to me. A three is worth more than a two.

So as long as he's coming to the ball, shooting the ball when he's open, when he's not open, that's the Duncan Robinson that we need, that we want, because that's how he's been playing all year long. And we're going to need him to be even more aggressive for Game 6.

Q. You've talked before about how you recover and how your recovery team is elite and that's what allows you to do this. What does your next day look like, especially as these 35, 40-minute games start to add up?

JIMMY BUTLER: To tell you the truth, I don't know. I'm going to go back and talk to Armando and whatever he says do, I guess I got to do. I really hate when people tell me what to do, by the way, but I know that he has my best interests at heart and he'll probably tell me what to do in Spanish as well.

Q. In Game 4 the Lakers' big adjustment was throwing AD and LeBron at you pretty much the entire game. What was the adjustment tonight for you to that coverage? Was it more just be willing to take those jump shots when they go under or around those screens, was that part of the change for you today?

JIMMY BUTLER: Just stay aggressive. I don't know what they're going to throw at me on any given night, but I think whatever you throw at me it's not going to work because if I'm open I'm going to shoot it. If I'm not I'm going to pass it to Duncan or Tyler or K-Nunn or Bam or Jae and they're going to make the shot. So as long as we stay together and play basketball the right way, no matter how they guard me, I'm going to make the right play.

Q. You guys are up 11 and they made kind of a big run and went up one, you guys' offense looked a little scattered. What did you guys do to get back on your feet and kind of counter that?

JIMMY BUTLER: I started to put people into positions that they need to be put in. I think I rushed a lot, I didn't have guys knowing where they were supposed to be. And that's my fault, because coach is telling me the play and I'm not echoing it down the line. And I can't let that happen because then you go on a 10-0 run or whatever they went on. We'll watch it, we'll be better, but we got to know, I have to let everybody know where we're supposed to be at.

Q. Do you believe that there's carryover from one game to the other and that these guys believed they were less than 30 seconds from winning a title and you guys ripped that away from them and you could see that written on everyone's faces in the final 10 seconds of the game?

JIMMY BUTLER: I mean, I'm sure they wanted to win, thought they was going to win coming into it. As did we. But it was a hard-fought game, I think it's going to be even harder for us next game, but I like our chances.

Q. You never lack for motivation. What I do wonder, when you look out there and you see Lakers family members who are on the brink of celebration and you know that Malika put a picture out about the confetti machines being right next to the court, and you know what you ripped away from them is it a little bit sweeter?

JIMMY BUTLER: Not really, I don't be paying attention to them over there. I don't pay attention to the confetti machines. I do pay attention to Rondo's son, Pierre though, that's my guy. Other than that, Iíll be so locked in on the game, Iíll be locked in on my squad, because we're here to win, we're here to win. So for these next two we're going to, we're in the trenches.

Q. You said in the post-game interview you got to be a lot better down the stretch in particular. How do you recenter after what was an emotional performance and you said a draining performance, there's nothing left. How do you recenter and kind of rejuvenate yourself heading into what you know is going to be a tough Game 6?

JIMMY BUTLER: This is over with. We got to get better, even from wins. I don't think we ended the game the way we were supposed to. We didn't rebound when we needed to. We got lucky. Luck is a part of everything and that's what that was. Now don't get me wrong, I'm taking the W, but I think going into the next one got to play even more perfect. We got to secure the ball, we got to get back, we got to do everything right to give us a chance to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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