It’s fitting that the sight of an exhausted Jimmy Butler doubled over the railing under the basket in Game 5 was the image Miami will take from this NBA Finals. Because the Heat ran out of gas one game later, ground down 106-93 by the Lakers on Sunday night in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Playing all but a few minutes of the series without injured guard Goran Dragic — who hurt his foot in the first half of the opener and didn’t return until Sunday — the Heat were just too shorthanded. Still, don’t think for a second they’re not convinced this was only the beginning for Miami, not the end.
“We’re trending in the right direction. We’re going to learn from this, going to get better. We’re going to come back,” Butler said. “We’ll be back, that’s what we’re all saying in that locker room. We got guys that want to do it, that already want to get back in the gym and get to working at this thing. That’s what we do here.”