In recent years, the NBA's Eastern Conference has become a powerhouse. With superstars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Joel Embiid all residing in the East, teams without one of those top-tier superstars can often find themselves on the outside looking in. For Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, he says his squad is prepared to go through all of them.
After being rumored to potentially join Kawhi Leonard as his co-star on the LA Clippers in 2019, Butler ultimately decided to blaze his own trail with the Miami Heat. The move has looked promising for Butler so far, who just one year into his 4-year / $184M contract, led the Heat to the 2020 NBA Finals in the Orlando Bubble.
Last year's playoffs did not go as well for Butler and the Heat, as they got swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round with Butler averaging just 14.5 PPG on 29.7% from the field. The performance from Butler was historically bad for a player of his caliber, but according to him, he is prepared to run it back against the Eastern Conference's most worthy opponents.
In a recent podcast for Bally Sports, Butler said, "We're not running from anybody. We never will, we never have, and there's no way around it. You have to go through each and every one of these teams. The Bucks being one, the Nets being one, Philly being one... We know that, and we're ready to compete."
The Miami Heat have a giant reinforcement on the way, with Kyle Lowry agreeing to a 3-year / $90M contract with the team in free agency; however, even with the Lowry addition, Miami is projected most places to finish below the Nets and the Bucks. With Brooklyn and Milwaukee getting all of the Eastern Conference hype, Butler wants people to know he is prepared for both of them.