Miami Heat: Recapping Jimmy Butler’s Wednesday “incident” against Pacers

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat fouls T.J. Warren #1 of the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat fouls T.J. Warren #1 of the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat had a heated Eastern Conference battle against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. As they say, there’s always a “game within the game”.

*Editor’s Note: Imran Ebrahim (@iebrahim81) is the author of this piece. He experienced technical difficulties in getting it published, sort of like Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren, and like Butler’s teammates, we had his back!

In what seems like a blast from the past, the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers are back to hating each other. After the departures of LeBron James and Lance Stephenson/Danny Granger from their respective teams, one would’ve imagined that the bad blood between these two franchises would’ve died down. But as they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, Jimmy Butler saw himself matched up with T.J. Warren on a regular basis. And, let’s just say… The tape will do the talking.

You also don’t need to be an expert lip-reader to know exactly what Butler was saying to Warren. And this isn’t the first time these two have had some type of beef.

In their first matchup on December 27th, which ended in dramatic fashion, you could see the hatred brewing between these two. Warren ended the game with 16 points, while Butler got himself 20 points and a victory.

The most telling stat of that night was the fact that Butler shot 3/11 from the field, his sixth-worst shooting night of the year. From an outsider’s point of view, it almost looked like he wanted to embarrass Warren on every offensive possession and it led to some very poor shots.

And if the game didn’t provide enough fireworks on its own, specifically the matchup between these two, Butler’s CANDID post-game interview literally had some circling(see Jimmy’s Instagram page) the next MIA-IND matchup.

I’ll speak to the Pacers side of things before diving into how perfectly Butler fits with the Miami Heat franchise. The Pacers aren’t scrubs. What they’ve done without Victor Oladipo has been incredible and speaks volumes about some of their players, such as Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and yes, T.J. Warren.

A newcomer to the team, the Pacers literally traded for the 25-year old Warren by offering cash… and we all know the stereotypes for a player that gets traded for cash. But this isn’t an indictment on Warren, it’s an indictment on the dysfunctional Suns franchise… But I digress. Back to the Heat.

The in-game and post-game reaction to Butler’s kerfuffle with Warren speaks to how much respect he has in the locker room and how much his teammates love him. As soon as the national media started blasting his post-game interview across the social media channels, an outpour of Heat players started to show their support for their star player. Guys like Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard, and Derrick Jones Jr. took to Twitter to back their teammate.

Could you imagine the headlines if this took place on a team without such a strong culture and understanding of their roster? Jimmy Butler Leads Mutiny After Warren Scuffle or Butler Splits Heat Team After Pacers Meltdown would be all over Twitter (but still not on national TV … Looking at you TNT, ESPN, NBATV).

My last take is a bit of a somber one though. Could you imagine if Dion Waiters kept himself in line? If he would’ve played within the guidelines of the team while this roster would’ve embraced Waiters’ street-ball mindset.

If you close your eyes and listen to the words Butler says in his post-game interview, you’d have thought it was Dion Waiters speaking. It’s sad to see someone who could have fit so perfectly in this particular puzzle throw away their chance like that.

Hopefully, he and Coach Spoelstra will be able to mend the fences. Butler and Waiters on the wing talking that talk… now that’s a dangerous duo or at least one you don’t want to get caught in an alley alone with after trash talking them.

Next. Jimmy Butler outburst is exactly why we love him. dark

The Miami Heat, the Indiana Pacers, Jimmy Butler, and T.J. Warren will see each other again in about a month and a half. Until then, count the days to March/20. Jimmy Butler sure is.