Caron Butler Says OKC Were The Hardest Team To Overcome, Thinks Miami Heat Hadn’t Figured It Out in 2011

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Caron Butler Says OKC Were The Hardest Team To Overcome, Thinks Miami Heat Hadn’t Figured It Out in 2011

 

The Dallas Mavericks had one of the most grueling paths en route to a championship in the 2011 NBA playoffs. Yet, the Mavericks somehow pulled it off, behind Dirk Nowitzki’s offensive output and a consistent collective effort from the rest of the team.

Their opponents included the Portland Trail Blazers, the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Miami Heat who, at that time, built a modern superteam, signing two All-Stars in LeBron James and Chris Bosh prior to the season.

Former Mavs player Caron Butler recently sat down with Bleacher Report and gave some insight about their championship journey and the teams they’ve faced in 2011. Butler felt that their chances were promising after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.

 

“When we beat OKC. To me, I felt like this was the hardest team to overcome and I felt like we would win after we beat them. The Lakers didn’t seem as dangerous that year, we beat them and we beat Portland. OKC didn’t know any better because they were too young.”

 

The Heat were the inevitable favorites to win the Finals during that season. They just came off a 4-1 victory against the Chicago Bulls who had the best record in the NBA, and humiliated the Boston Celtics in the second round.

Many believed the Heat would have had the upper-hand in the Finals, but Butler understood that the Heat hadn’t figured it out yet, thus increasing their chance to steal the series.

 

“I really felt like our percentages were high because I didn’t think Miami had it figured out yet. I remember Brendan Haywood looking at me like: We gotta get one before they could figure it out because LeBron and Wade didn’t know who was Batman and who was Robin,” he said.

 

James, who had a solid production prior to the Finals, was disappointing by his standards and played his inarguably worst playoff series of all-time. He averaged 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game on 47.8% shooting from the field, including a lackluster 8-point game in game 4.

On the other hand, Wade was a candidate for Finals MVP, averaging 26.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists per game on 54.6% shooting from the field.

The Heat finally figured it out moving forward, as Butler and Haywood had foreseen. They went on to three more Finals and ended up winning two championships to conclude their big-3 era. The Mavericks got their sweet revenge from their loss in 2006, but had little success in the following years.

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