Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler has labeled his team as ''soft'' after they dropped a third consecutive game on Friday night. The Heat, who made the NBA Finals last season befora falling short to the Los Angeles Lakers, have been struggling over the past month as they have dropped 10 of their last 16 games.
The Minnesota Timberwolwes entered Friday with the league-worst record but still beat the Heat 119-111. Butler delivered a big performance and he was near a triple-double as he scored 30 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
"It's not frustrating because we do it so often," Butler said. "It's almost like it's expected, in a bad way to put it. We just think we're such a good team, and then reality hits us, we're humbled.
And I'm glad, because that's what this game does for you. Home, away, no matter what opponent you're playing against, you just stroll into the game thinking you're nice, you're good. This is what happens. "I'm glad it happened to us," Butler said of the loss to the Timberwolves.
"And if we don't fix it, I hope it continues to happen to us."
Butler was clearly frustrated after the Timberwolwes loss
Butler declined to speak with reporters after games this week but after Friday's game he didn't hold back.
"I can't tell you which way we're going to go," Butler said. "I don't know what team is going to show up on any given night." Butler then publicly called out his teammates and underlined that they have got to play harder.
"We're just being soft. That's it," Butler said. "Not getting into bodies, scared of some contact. Soft overall." Heat center Bam Adebayo, who was a key to the Heat's run to the NBA Finals last year, finished the game against the Timberwolwes with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
"We've got to get stops, and that's the bottom line," Adebayo said. "Offense will take care of itself." Butler wants more from Adebayo. "I want Bam to attack the rim because nobody can stay in front of him," Butler said.
"Nobody can stay in front of him. Go. You're going to get fouled or you're going to dunk on somebody. That's cool. I love him shooting midrange jump shots too, but he lets people off the hook. Play bully ball. I like bully ball."