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Miami Heat relishing NBA Finals showdown with LeBron James and LA Lakers

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Erik Spoelstra and Miami beat Boston 4-2 in the Eastern Conference finals 7:04
Watch all the reaction after the Miami Heat were crowned 2019-20 Eastern Conference champions

LeBron James has been a mainstay of the NBA Finals for a decade, and Miami's Jimmy Butler is under no illusions about the task facing him and his team-mates.

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Miami know more than most the influence of James, he was part of four Heat teams to reach the Finals - and before this season they had only reached five in their history.

"The main key, and its been like this for a very long time, if you want to win you are going to have to go through a LeBron James led team," Butler said after Miami completed a series win over Boston to claim the Eastern Conference title for the first time since 2014.

"At the end of the day that's what it normally comes down to - but you can't just focus on him, he has so many really good players around him.

"But you are going to get the same test over and over again until you pass it, and that test is LeBron James."

Jimmy Butler LeBron James 0:59
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are looking forward to facing LeBron James' LA Lakers in the NBA Finals
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Miami completed their run to a showdown with the LA Lakers with a 125-113 victory over the Celtics - a result that saw them secure a fourth Eastern title thanks to a 4-2 series win.

It also completed a remarkable run for the Heat, who have beaten the fourth seeded Indiana Pacers, top seeded Milwaukee Bucks and third seed Celtics on the way to the Finals, losing just four of their 16 games along the way.

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Butler is happy playing underdog for a Miami team that have been written off for most of the season, but set their sights on success from the very start.

"I said it time and time again, I believe in our group and I know we can still win four more," Butler added.

Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler celebrates Miami's Game 1 win over Boston 1:43
Caron Butler and Isiah Thomas break down how the Heat led by Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler match up with the Lakers two superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James

"We are not satisfied, or complacent. We know we have a really good team to go up against and we can enjoy it for tonight but this whole thing comes down to being wanted and being appreciated for what you bring to the table.

"We are not for everybody, I am not for everybody but here I am and the group of guys we have are for one another and this is home for me.

"A lot of ups and downs, with everything that has happened in 2020 but from a basketball standpoint it could not be better. This is what we want. We talked about it, we put it out there in the world and all that positibve energy has come back to us

"We believed when not too many didn't, but that's OK. We are going to keep believing and going to get these next four."

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Spoelstra hails Butler impact

Bam Adebayo may have taken the plaudits on Sunday night, but Butler's role in Miami's success this season has been huge. He embodies that 'no one likes us' mentality that coach Erik Spoelstra has built.

Jayson Tatum Celtics
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Butler joined Miami last summer - his fourth team in the last four seasons - after leaving Philadelphia and Spoelstra was quick to pay tribute to the 31-year-old who will be playing in his first Finals since being drafted in 2011.

"To get somebody like Jimmy Butler was one of the most remarkable recruiting visits we have ever had," Spoelstra told his post-game press conference.

"It was so conversational. You felt after 20 minutes that we were so aligned in how we viewed competition, work and culture.

"We never even got into a pitch. We had dinner, we were talking shop. He interrupted Pat [Riley, team president] and I after dinner and said 'By the way, I'm in'

"He set the stage to make this about now, this team it would be now.

Marcus Smart high-fives team-mate Kemba Walker during the Celtics' Game 3 win over the Miami Heat 1:17
Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum give their reaction as the Boston Celtics lost Game 6 and the Eastern Conference series to the Miami Heat
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"You need someone like Jimmy, guys like Goran [Dragic], the leadership of UD [Udonis Haslem] to be able to draft someone like Tyler [Herro], develop guys like Duncan [Robinson].

"The mid season trade to get Andre [Iguadola], a player with Championship pedigree and Jae [Crowder] all because we had been relying on our young guys.

"The guys that have been in own organisation understand how difficult it is to get to this point, we want to enjoy for a night.

"Teams like this are unique, it's special. A bunch of guys who have been overlooked, been told that they are less than, the anti-AAU or new age analytics.

"These guys just want to play and to compete and to fight for it - that's one of the reasons that I admire them and love being part of this group."

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