The Miami Heat continue to surprise in the 2023 NBA Playoffs after rallying from the Play-In Tournament to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Since losing their first Play-In Game to the Atlanta Hawks, they've been on a roll, disposing of the Chicago Bulls to secure the No. 8 seed, before defeating the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks, now going toe-to-toe with the Boston Celtics with a shot at the NBA Finals in their sights.
MORE: NBA stars react to Jimmy Butler's dominant Game 1 vs. Celtics
While their unexpected run has caught many off guard, superstar wing Jimmy Butler says he isn't surprised in the slightest, telling reporters after his Game 1 heroics against the Celtics that this is exactly where he expected them to be.
"Damn right I did. Damn right we did," Butler said. "And the best part about it is we still don't care what none of y'all think. We don't care if you pick us to win. We never have. We never will.
"We pump constant confidence into everybody and we go out there and we hoop. We play basketball the right way, knowing that we always got a chance."
"We don't care if you pick us to win."— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 18, 2023
Jimmy Butler always had confidence that the Heat could make a deep postseason run 🔥 pic.twitter.com/E150N8UUW0
As he has been throughout the postseason, Butler was the architect of the Heat's Game 1 win in Boston, pouring in 35 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and six steals to lead his team to a 123-116 win, stealing homecourt advantage.
Miami has now won Game 1 on the road in each of their three playoff series so far, something Butler credits to their tight-knit chemistry.
MORE: Live updates, stats from Jimmy Butler's dominant Game 1 performance vs. Celtics
"More than anything, we're staying together, through the good and through the bad. It is a game of runs, and we can talk to one another," Butler added.
"I think that's what ultimately makes me smile is the fact that when things aren't going our way, we can look at each other eye to eye and know when somebody's messing around, and we can fix it....Got a win, but that's not enough for us, and we want to get another one in two days."
"That's not enough for us...we want to get another one in two days."— NBA (@NBA) May 18, 2023
Jimmy Butler when asked about winning Game 1 as the road team in 3 straight series.#NBAConferenceFinals presented by @GooglePixel_US pic.twitter.com/9plbhONU31
The Heat are just the fifth team in NBA history to win their first three Game 1s on the road, as they look to become the first No. 8 seed since the 1999 New York Knicks to advance to the NBA Finals.
The Heat have won Game 1 on the road in each of their first 3 playoff series.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2023
They are the 5th team to do it in their first 3, joining the:
• 2023 Heat
• 2021 Hawks
• 1999 Knicks
• 1989 Bulls
• 1981 Rockets
The 1981 Rockets & 1999 Knicks made the NBA Finals, but… pic.twitter.com/qVhXayKYIU
They are back in action for Game 2 against the Celtics on Friday, May 19 at TD Garden, with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m. ET.