The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will lock horns in the first round of the playoffs and the stage is set for a heated battle between these two Eastern Conference rivals.
SERIES PREVIEW: No.4 Miami Heat vs. No.5 Indiana Pacers
The ongoing rivalry between Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren has emerged as one of the key talking points of the series, however, Butler says any beef between the two players is over heading into the post-season.
Jimmy Butler, on hype vs. T.J. Warren, "We can kill that. That's something of the past."- Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) August 16, 2020
The Butler-Warren rivalry took shape during a January 122-108 win for the Heat in the regular season, after the pair got tangled up in the third quarter.
Warren swiped at Butler's arm as the Heat star drove to the hoop, with officials and teammates forced to separate the pair after they exchanged some heated words.
The Pacers swingman was ejected from the game as Butler blew him a kiss as he walked off the court.
Jimmy Butler blew TJ Warren a kiss after Warren was ejected 😳 pic.twitter.com/ePoWVLmzO7- ESPN (@espn) January 9, 2020
The tension between the pair spilled over into the post-game press conferences, with Butler not shying away with the cameras on.
Warren was fined $25,000 for his role in the altercation, while Butler was handed a $35,000 fine for engaging in the altercation and escalating things on social media after the game. Butler's offensive foul was also upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 1.
The Heat and Pacers were scheduled to meet two more times this season in the Orlando bubble seeding games, with Butler getting the best of Warren in the Heat's 114-92 win.
Butler finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and four steals, while Warren shot just 5-of-14 from the field for his 12 points and five rebounds.
Neither took the court for the final seeding game, but we won't have to wait long to see them square off again, with Game 1 of the series tipping off on Wednesday at 1:30 a.m. IST.
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