Jimmy Butler’s focus and intensity have become the biggest part of his identity as a player since joining the Miami Heat. When Butler dragged the Heat on an unlikely run to the 2020 NBA Finals inside the bubble, the veteran wing famously said he was “so f——— locked in” before proceeding play 43 minutes per game against the Lakers in the series while gifting us an instant classic meme. Butler has been in and out of the lineup this season with injuries, but he remains the emotional leader of a team that is a championship contender once again.
Butler recently returned to the lineup from an ankle injury, and he was in classic form as the Heat took on the Blazers on Wednesday night. With the score close during the second quarter, Butler drove the ball to the basket and finished through contact. He didn’t get the and-one foul call he was looking for, and he exploded on a nearby ref because of it.
The refs hit Butler with two technical fouls, which means an automatic ejection. Watch Butler erupt at the officials here.
The Heat beat the Blazers, 104-92, even after Butler’s ejection. That’s nothing new for Miami: despite missing so many key players to injury and illness this season, the Heat are tied atop the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls.
Crew Chief Courtney Kirkland talked about why Butler was ejected after the game. Apparently a player can be profane, but not egregiously so.
QUESTION: Was it Butler’s words or aggression that caused the first technical foul?
KIRKLAND: It was both. The aggressive manner in which he approached Mousa Dagher and the profanity that he yelled at him resulted in the first technical foul.
QUESTION: What was the reasoning for the second technical foul?
KIRKLAND: The second one was the fact that he yelled egregious profanity at Mousa, and that’s why he was given the second technical foul.
QUESTION: Why the immediacy of the second technical foul?
KIRKLAND: Because of the egregiousness of the profanity he yelled at Mousa.
The Heat can’t catch a break from the officials when they face the Blazers, apparently. The last time Miami played Portland, Kyle Lowry was given an incredibly soft ejection for tossing the ball back to the refs. While the Heat won both games, this is something they’re going to have to be more careful about in the playoffs.
Is it possible to be a little too locked in? Asking for Jimmy Butler.