What They Said: Winning The East

On Sept. 27, the HEAT defeated the Celtics 125-113 to claim their sixth Eastern Conference Championship and become the the first No. 5 seed to make it to the NBA Finals (three lower seeds had done it before.)

Check out some reactions below.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith

“They put everybody on notice when they were ramrodding the Milwaukee Bucks, who were the number one seed, that they were here and they were coming…I picked them to beat Boston in seven games, not six. But it’s because of their moxie, their athleticism, the dog inside of their chest, the way they go after it. And the fact of the matter is they’re deep, and they play together. And that’s why they’re going to the NBA Finals.”

ESPN’s Max Kellerman

“Spoelstra’s a great coach, he has a very good team, and they have earned their Finals trip through, by the way, an improved Eastern Conference. Yes, Gordon Hayward missed the first two games with injury for the Celtics. But when really crunch time came, when those high-leverage moments came, the HEAT outplayed the Celtics throughout the series. And they deserve it and are deserving finalists.”

NBA TV’s "Gametime" Crew

Isiah Thomas: “Well, I think what they’ve shown is that they were the most prepared team after the break and the most together team after the break. And when you have long periods of breaks like this…the team that comes back most prepared is the best. And right now, in the East, the Miami HEAT were the best prepared for this situation and they took advantage and they’re the best team right now in the East and they’re the most competitive team right now that thrives and loves competition.”

Caron Butler: “I think that Zeke touched on it when you talk about preparation and being prepared, and that’s the Miami HEAT culture. They’ve done a remarkable job of just being ready for the moment.”

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