The Miami Heat seemed dead and buried after the Boston Celtics registered a comfortable 93-80 win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The talk had already shifted to a Celtics-Warriors matchup in the NBA Finals, but the Heat stunned the NBA world with a 111-103 win on the road in Game 6 to stave off elimination.
After looking like a shell of himself from Games 3 to 5, Jimmy Butler stepped up when it mattered most, as he poured in a playoff career-high 47 points to drag the Heat to victory. They now take all the momentum into a do-or-die Game 7 in Miami and NBA fans couldn't believe what they were witnessing.
You would have been hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Heat Nation who would have seen this coming after they looked so helpless in Game 5. It speaks to the character of the team and the oft-mocked 'Heat Culture' which definitely played a part here. It is not easy to bounce back from a loss like that and they responded in some style.
The focus now shifts to the all-important Game 7 with the spot in the NBA Finals on the line. The Celtics have already played in a Game 7 in this playoff run, as they blew out the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Semifinals, but that was at home. This time around, they need to get it done on the road, which is a completely different situation altogether.
If Miami gets this version of Jimmy Butler in Game 7, then it's hard to see them on the losing side but the Celtics have hung their hat on defense all year and it is time for that defensive unit to step up when it matters the most. Regardless of what happens in the game, it sure seems set up to be an all-timer.