The new-look Miami Heat could be a huge threat and dark horse out of the Eastern Conference.
Somehow, someway, people continue to sleep on them, especially after their tough sweep against the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs. But Erik Spoelstra's team has the makings of a tough rival no one will ever want to meet.
That's exactly what the team is trying to embrace as their mindset, and most of that is because of Jimmy Butler's leadership:
“We’re not running from anybody. We never will. We never have, and there’s no way around it. You gotta go through each and every one of these teams. Bucks being one. The Nets being one. Philly being one. All the way down the line, we know that, and we’re ready to compete," Butler said in an interview with Bally Sports.
Butler didn't hesitate to embrace a leadership role at South Beach. He was even one of the main reasons why they were able to land Kyle Lowry in the offseason and further boast their championship aspirations:
"Lowry said his friendship with Butler impacted his decision to join the Heat “a lot. A lot. Me and Jimmy, we’ve been talking about this for a long time now. He was continuing to chirp about it and talk to me about it [this summer].
Butler calls Lowry “one of my absolute best friends. As competitive as it is, we’re always laughing, always joking around," reported Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Lowry will have a huge impact in Miami and GMs even believe that his acquisition made the Heat the biggest winner of the offseason.
Jimmy Butler is always ready to compete and his energy is just contagious. So, even if everybody's talking about the Nets, Sixers, and Bucks, we would be wise not to count Miami out right away.