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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Jimmy Butler sends pointed message before Game 3

Jimmy Butler in his Heat uniform

May 25, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) brings the ball up court during the fourth quarter of game five of the 2022 eastern conference finals against the Boston Celtics at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler may not be playing in the Eastern Conference first round series between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, but he is very much setting his team’s mentality from the sideline.

Butler spoke to Chris Haynes on TNT just before tipoff Saturday and was asked if he had a message for Heat fans who might be doubting whether the team can overcome the Celtics without Butler in the lineup. Butler dismissed the question and instead called out the national media for being dismissive of the team’s chances.

“I think we believe. It’s everybody else that don’t,” Butler said. “If I got to hear one more praise about Boston on national TV when we win a game, I’m tired of hearing that, man. It’s 1-1, we’re gonna go up 2-1.”

Butler has the right to say as much. The Heat managed a 111-101 win in Boston in Game 2, which is one more win than a lot of prognosticators expected them to get against the East’s top seed. That Miami pulled it off without Butler could only give the Heat more confidence.

The Heat are still clear underdogs no matter what Butler says. That will not stop him from stirring the pot, even as he remains sidelined with a knee injury without any return timetable.


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