Jimmy Butler authored an historic NBA Finals performance in Game 3 on Sunday, recording a 40-point triple-double to lead the Miami Heat to a 115-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. It was truly phenomenal.
But it was also, as JR SportBrief observed, just one game.
“The odds are stacked against the Miami Heat, and I got to commend them,” JR said on CBS Sports Radio. “I got to give them all the credit in the world for what they’ve been able to do and for what Jimmy Butler [did in Game 3] and for what Jimmy Butler has instilled in this team. But it’s one game. This is still the Lakers’ title to lose. This is still the Lakers’ title to blow. This is still the Lakers’ chance to give it up – and I didn’t think it’s going to happen.”
LeBron James and Anthony Davis will make sure of it. James is trying to win an NBA title for a third franchise, while Davis is trying to win his first title, period.
“They’re too damn close,” JR said. “With an opportunity to go up 3-1 – yeah, the Miami Heat can win. We might be looking at a 2-2 [series], and I might be having a whole different conversation [Tuesday] night. But the Lakers, this is their time. The Heat, with your Tyler Herro and your Duncan Robinson and your Jimmy Butler, they’re here right now. They’re going to be here for the long-run. The Miami Heat, they’re here for the future in what is going to be a competitive Eastern Conference.
“So yeah, go ahead and give it your best shot,” JR continued. “Throw Jimmy Butler out there. Throw a snarling Tyler Herro out there. Put everybody out there. But it’s still one game. It might feel good, but it’s still one game.”
Ultimately, JR says, the Heat have suffered too many injuries, and barring a significant injury to the Lakers, this series is likely over.
“You have to be realistic,” he said.