Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler has declared his beef with Indiana Pacers forward TJ Warren "dead" as he claims to be fully focused and locked in on helping the Heat beat the Pacers in the upcoming playoff series.
On January 8, the Butler and Warren matchup drew national attention after the two exchanged words on the court and had to be separated as nearly a fight broke out. The Heat won that game in Indianapolis and Butler didn't hold back after the game, calling Warren "trash" and saying the Pacers forward couldn't guard him.
"Look, I just play basketball," Butler said during a video call with reporters after Sunday's practice, as quoted on ESPN. "I'm going to go out there and be the best player on the floor. That's what Miami has me here to do.
I'm not worried about nobody's matchup, man. We can kill that. That's dead, that's something that'll pass. Everybody wants to make a story out of it, but my job isn't against T.J. Warren, it's against the Indiana Pacers, and my job is to help the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers."
Butler not taking the Pacers for granted
The Heat clashed against the Pacers four times during the regular season and three times ended on the winning side but Butler says that really doesn't mean much now. "I don't think anybody's worried about us winning three out of four, them losing three out of four," Butler said.
"It's a different style of basketball now. It's a different time. The sense of urgency is going to be at an all-time high. So we can't be focused on what we did in the past. Everything that we're going over now is how we're going to continually get better, how we can beat this team four times.
So we leave the regular season in the regular season, everything that happened back then, leave it there." Butler, who is playing his first season with the Heat, is determined to come up big for his team in the postseason.
"Now's the time to play your best basketball," Butler said. "To do whatever it takes to make sure that your team can win. I know that myself, I know that my teammates, the coaches, this organization, know that I'm capable of making that, so now it's just me going out there and doing just that and helping this team win some games."
Butler thinks the Pacers have some real fighters on their team but underlines they will be ready. "It's going to be a dogfight," Butler said. "But I think we got some dogs."