When asked about a skirmish with Grant Williams after Game 2, Jimmy Butler claimed that he’s not the best player to talk trash to. During this Eastern Conference finals series, in which he’s led the Miami Heat to a 3-0 lead, Butler has proven that again and again.
The latest example came midway through Game 3, as the Heat were building toward their 33-point lead in Sunday night’s 128-102 blowout win. Gabe Vincent had made a 3-pointer with nine minutes to go to put the Heat up 23. The Celtics called a timeout, the bench cleared in celebration and Butler walked to half-court, located Horford, crouched and mockingly signaled for timeout while making eye contact with Horford.
This was a direct retort to Horford doing the same thing in Boston in Game 2, the Celtics had gone a run and built an early lead when Horford crouched and signaled for a timeout. The Celtics have been outscored by 40 points in the series since that moment.
Butler doesn’t forget these things. He sees that trash talk and catalogs it for later use. Now that the Heat have a commanding lead in this series, the Celtics might be smart not to taunt the star on the winning team who has been the best player in this series. It hasn’t worked out for them yet.