Are we witnessing the greatest finals run in NBA history?

8-seeded Miami defeats 2-seed Boston to advance to NBA Finals

Logan Martinez, Contributor

As the Miami Heat prepare to face off against the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals, many experts have been left wondering just how the Miami Heat have reached this point. Touted as an underdog in every series they have played thus far, few, if any, believed Miami possessed the will and star power to reach another conference finals, let alone the NBA finals. Countless experts and analysts also wondered if the team would even make it past their first-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. Entering the playoffs the Heat were deemed as nothing more than a tough first-round exit with little to no championship hopes. However, thanks to the unreal talent of playoff superstar Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat find themselves making history as they reach this year’s NBA finals.

Leading his team to convincing series wins over the star-studded Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, Jimmy Butler has unquestionably proven to be the best player within the Eastern Conference. Increasing his regular season numbers in almost every statistical category, Butler finds himself single-handedly willing his team to victory almost every night. Although the players surrounding the star have contributed greatly to team success, many analysts such as ex-player Shaquille O’Neal have found themselves struggling to even recognize who is on the Heat team. With a roster consisting of more undrafted players than lottery pick players, it is not a stretch to say this is the least talented team to reach an NBA Finals since the 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers. While Lebron’s run is credited as being the most impressive finals run in recent memory, it can be heavily argued that Butler’s current 2023 run is far more impressive.

Averaging 29.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists throughout the playoffs, it is safe to say that Butler is doing it all for the Miami Heat. Whether it be spacing the floor for spot up shooters such as Duncan Robinson and Max Strus or creating shots with an elite midrange ability, “Playoff Jimmy” has been playing at a special level on par with greats such as Lebron James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Not to mention that the superstar is playing without his former sixth man of the year and lottery pick Tyler Herro, who has been out with a broken hand. The Heat forward has done it all this postseason, including leading his team to the most impressive finals run in NBA history.

Although they will undoubtedly be cast as underdogs against the Denver Nuggets in the NBA finals, it is nothing the Heat have not faced before. Nikola Jokic is playing at an elite MVP level, however, with the explosive capability of “Playoff Jimmy,” a Miami Heat championship is more than a possibility. Entering the postseason as a play-in team, Butler has single-handedly carried the Heat to the finals in what is one of the most impressive playoff runs in NBA history.