Heat Notes: Butler, Lowry, Herro, Two-Way Players

Heat forward Jimmy Butler has been unfailingly honest when explaining how important winning his first title would be to him, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“That’s why everybody plays this game — I lied, that’s why a lot of people play this game — is to win a championship,” Butler told Friedell. “That’s all we lock in on; that’s all we’re focused on. Like we put so much energy towards winning and playing for one another that if we do this together, we get to celebrate this together, we’re like, I don’t know the word, itched, niched, we made our mark in history together forever, so we’re in that.”

The well-traveled All-Star seems to have a found a long-term home in Miami, and is hoping to finally cement his legacy with his second Finals appearance in his fourth season with the club.

“I’m happy I get to do it [compete for a title] with these guys,” Butler said. “And I’m still very grateful for day one in the Berto Center [with the Bulls] and the Mayo Clinic [facility with the Timberwolves] and whatever the 76ers’ [facility is called]; I’m grateful for all those opportunities that’s getting me here to know what I got to do to get it done.”

There’s more out of Miami:

  • Heat point guard Kyle Lowry has adjusted well to his new role as a reserve following a return from a knee injury, writes Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “It’s about being a pro,” Lowry said. “It’s about winning, honestly. It’s easy when you have [ground] to get to a starter. I wasn’t always a starter. So, I understand the role, how important that is. And, for me, being a professional and being a guy that only cares about winning, it makes it easy, honestly.” Lowry’s relatively modest statistical output in these playoffs belies the true value of his impact, especially as a defensive pest against Denver’s backcourt.
  • Heat shooting guard Tyler Herro, the team’s third-leading scorer in the regular season, has missed all but one half of the club’s run to the Finals this year due to a fractured right hand. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, Herro has not been cleared for Game 4 on Friday night, and remains listed as out. “Right now he is not cleared to take that next step,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He has checked every box so far, but he is not at that next step yet to clear for an NBA Finals game. But he is doing everything he needs to do to take these next step.” Miami, currently lagging 2-1 behind Denver in the Finals, is certainly missing his skills as a play-maker and as a shooter both off the dribble and off the catch, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
  • While two-way Heat players Jamal Cain and Orlando Robinson have been ineligible to suit up for the team during the playoffs, the duo is still getting invaluable experience in sharing the postseason moment with the rest of the team, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “It’s been great to see this championship level team and being able to recognize the standard and what it means to win,” Cain said. “This being my first year, being able to see this and experience this is something that’s going to make me better and I think it’s going to raise my standard for each year because having this feeling of being around this type of environment is unbelievable.” Center Robinson played in 31 games for Miami this season, while Cain, a 6’6″ swingman, appeared in 18 contests for the Heat. Both players logged more significant minutes with the Heat’s NBAGL affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
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