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Dave Hyde: Heat’s Jimmy Butler keeps telling you who he is — and it’s more than the 41 points in Game 1 win

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Every so often, just for a moment, Jimmy Butler will let you in. He’ ll pull back the curtain and let you see who he is, how his mind and motivations assemble. He did at the end of the Philadelphia series last week, walking to the locker room and shouting in a send-off to his former team,“ They chose Tobias Harris over me?
Every so often, just for a moment, Jimmy Butler will let you in. He’ll pull back the curtain and let you see who he is, how his mind and motivations assemble. He mostly keeps that area closed off, opaquely answering he doesn’t care about random ideas like statistics, as he says night after playoff night. Even if the question is framed that it’s known he doesn’t care about statistics, but his staggering ones Monday provided framework to the Miami Heat’s 118-107 Game 1 win against Boston, it’s met with a shrug. He’s just out there, competing hard, reading the game, doing whatever’s necessary to win, as he says night after night. There’s no reason to doubt that answer. It’s just that, every so often, he’ll show you more. He did at the end of the Philadelphia series last week, walking to the locker room and shouting in a send-off to his former team, “They chose Tobias Harris over me?”
Late Tuesday night, as he shut down the talk of his numbers — 41 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks — the physical nature of the series was mentioned and Butler perked up. This interested him.
“I like physicality,” he said. “Like, I want to run into people and see who falls down first, who is going to quit first.

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