Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat controls the ball ahead of Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics during Game 5 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Celtics earned a Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals by beating the Heat 110-97 in Game 5 on Thursday night. It’s the second time in as many games the Celtics have extended their season, after falling into a 0-3 hole to start the series.

In one locker room, the Celtics have certainly gained a confidence boost from these back-to-back wins. At the same time though, don’t think the inability to close the Celtics out to this point has dampened the Heat’s confidence at all.

  • That confidence start’s with the Heat’s star forward and best player, Jimmy Butler. Game 5 was Butler’s worst performance of the series so far – he scored a playoff-low 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while going 0-of-2 from three. He turned the ball over twice, and was a team-worst minus-24 on the night.

    Yet Butler’s confidence in his team hasn’t been deterred. At the podium after the game Butler let that be known loud and clear – by guaranteeing a series win for the Heat.

  • “We’re always going to stay positive knowing that we can and we will win this series,” Butler told reporters. “We’ll just have to close it out at home [Game 6 is in Miami].”

    Now, Butler did also give some detailed critiques of issues that have led to the Heat dropping two straight games. But that line right there is the one that will grab most people’s attention, and is a perfect example of the ‘bulletin board material’ that gets talked about so often at this time of year.

    Will Butler’s guarantee come true? Or will the Celtics win in Miami and force the series back to Boston for Game 7? Coverage of Game 6 on Saturday can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Sports Hub BetMGM Celtics Radio Network, starting with an 8 p.m. pregame.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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