NBA

Heat 'humbled' by another blown lead and Butler 'can't guarantee' it won't happen again

By Sports Desk November 21, 2021

Jimmy Butler criticised the Miami Heat's complacency after they blew a 16-point lead in Saturday's defeat to the Washington Wizards.

The Heat had won four straight games coming into Saturday's trip to the capital, but that run has now been bookended by collapses.

Against both the Los Angeles Clippers (17 points) and the Wizards, Miami have led by double digits only to lose. Earlier this season, the Heat let leads of 12 and 11 slip to the Utah Jazz and the Brooklyn Nets respectively, although they rallied again to win on both occasions.

Of those four games, only the Utah victory was at home.

This latest setback was particularly painful due to the late nature of the collapse; the Heat had a 10-point lead with just over four minutes remaining but went down 103-100.

Miami were the victim of three fourth-quarter double-digit comebacks last season, and Butler is concerned the Heat – now 11-6 and behind the 11-5 Wizards in their division – are not dealing well with praise following a strong start.

"[The collapses are] probably because we stopped doing what we were doing to get those leads," he said.

"We tend to get comfortable, and that's a bad thing when you're comfortable. You get complacent and you just think the games going to keep going that way.

"For us, at least, it doesn't."

Butler, who led Miami with 29 points, added: "When everybody's giving you this praise all the time, you think you deserve it. You think you're supposed to be talked about like that – and that's not the case.

"This league is very humbling. It's fragile, and just as soon as you think you're good and you're high on yourself, you get hit like this.

"I don't think we should have lost this game. We did. You can say we'll learn from it, we'll go back to the drawing board. I'm hoping this is the last time that this happens, but I can't guarantee that."

Related items

  • Djokovic marches into French Open third round after dominant straight-sets win Djokovic marches into French Open third round after dominant straight-sets win

    Novak Djokovic eased through to the French Open third round following another straight-sets victory over Roberto Carballes Baena at Roland-Garros.

    The reigning champion, who is seeking a record-breaking 25th grand slam singles title, took just over two hours to wrap up a 6-4 6-1 6-2 win and set up a showdown with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti in round three.

    Not since the 2017 Australian Open has Djokovic failed to progress beyond the second round at a major.

    It looked like the Serb would be in for a tough battle as Carballes Baena broke in the opening game, though he did respond immediately before the first set appeared finely poised at 4-4 and deuce.

    Djokovic subsequently drew first blood, and it was very much one-way traffic thereon.

    Indeed, from 4-4 in that first set, the world number one won 14 of the next 17 games to sail into the last 32.

    Data Debrief: Djokovic surpasses Nadal at Roland-Garros

    The undisputed 'King of Clay', Nadal's record of 14 French Open titles looks highly unlikely to be under any severe threat in the near future.

    However, Djokovic has surpassed the Spaniard by reaching round three at Roland-Garros for a 19th time in his 20 appearances - the most appearances by any player during the Open Era.

    The Serb also notched up his 94th match win at the French Open. That is his joint-most at a single ATP event in his career, matching is tally at the Australian Open, where he is a 10-time champion.

  • Svitolina and Rybakina remain on collision course for French Open fourth round Svitolina and Rybakina remain on collision course for French Open fourth round

    Elina Svitolina and Elena Rybakina remain on course for a French Open fourth-round showdown, after the pair enjoyed straight-sets victories in round two.

    Rybakina was a 6-3 6-4 winner over Arantxa Rus in 67 minutes, while Svitolina battled past local favourite Diane Parry 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in just under two hours at Roland-Garros.

    Former Wimbledon champion Rybakina is still yet to drop a set at this season's clay-court major.

    Her opponent was seeking another scalp at the French Open, having stunned second seed Kim Clijsters at this stage back in 2011.

    However, despite a spirited display, there was to be no such fairytale for the 33-year-old Dutchwoman 13 years on, with Rybakina hitting 28 winners to 20 unforced errors on the way to victory.

    The Kazakhstani is back in round three for a third straight year, though she was forced to withdraw injured before her last-32 clash with Sara Sorribes Tormo 12 months ago.

    Meanwhile, Svitolina faced another tough battle, having been forced to come from behind to beat former world number one Karolina Pliskova in the opening round.

    Runner-up to Coco Gauff in Auckland at the start of the year, the Ukrainian has not progressed beyond the last 16 of any event since, but just had too much for Parry on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

    Data Debrief: Svitolina matches Sharapova and Stosur

    A four-time quarter-finalist at Roland-Garros, Svitolina is through to round three for a ninth successive appearance.

    The 15th seed is the first player to do that since Maria Sharapova (13 from 2004) and Sam Stosur (10 from 2009) in 2018.

  • Medvedev moves into French Open third round after Kecmanovic retires injured Medvedev moves into French Open third round after Kecmanovic retires injured

    Daniil Medvedev advanced to the French Open third round after Miomir Kecmanovic was forced to retire injured in their round-two clash at Roland-Garros.

    The former US Open champion prevailed in just 55 minutes at 6-1 5-0 ahead on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, when his opponent was unable to continue.

    Medvedev has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of the clay-court major, reaching the last eight in 2021, but has plenty of energy still in reserve after his premature win.

    A runner-up at the Australian Open and Indian Wells this season, the fifth seed was in dominant form throughout the contest, and will play either Mariano Navone or Tomas Machac in round three.

    Data Debrief: Medvedev continues to make strides on clay

    Medvedev has now won 36 career ATP matches on clay, with 50 per cent of those coming since the start of the 2023 season (18).

    The fifth seed won 23 of his 27 points on first serve (85 per cent), while converting five of nine break points, and hitting 26 winners to just six unforced errors.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.