Butler: Contending Heat Not Yet Where They Want To Be

Sam Amico

The Miami Heat have been one of the NBA's best stories, a true contender with a star in Jimmy Butler and cast around him that plays hard and smart.

But none of that has been good enough for Butler. Not yet.

"We're not a bad team, but we're not where we want to be at, just yet," Butler said. "That's OK. I think moving forward we just continue to get better and figure out a way to win games, especially on the road. It'll happen."

Butler was speaking to reporters following the Heat's 1-4 trip to the West. But they enter the All-Star break at 35-19 and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. That's one place better than Philadelphia, Butler's team last season.

The Heat were already good before the Feb. 6 trade deadline. But now they have added veteran wing Andre Iguodala and feisty forward Jae Crowder. So things could be even better after the All-Star break.

Butler and Bam Adebayo were selected All-Star reserves. Rookie Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn was chosen for the Rising Stars game. (Though an ankle injury will keep Herro from playing.)

So there are plenty of reasons for the Heat to keep believing in very good things.

"We're excited about our team," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Nobody wants to go 1-4 on the road trip. But, you know, it doesn't take the eternal optimist to see that there are some good things going on in this locker room."