Jimmy Butler showed no interest in Heat-Knicks past rivalry: ‘I don’t care where we play, we just got to beat them four times’ – Basketball Insiders

Now that the Heat and the Knicks are officially matched up for the Eastern Conference’s semifinals, we can’t help but reminisce over this intense rivalry, which reached its climax in the 90s. We are talking about Alonzo Mourning versus his old college teammate Patrick Ewing and wingman Larry Johnson, or even Jeff Van Gundy against his mentor Pat Riley and his brother Stan. 

However, this seems unimportant for Miami star Jimmy Butler, who cares very little for this nostalgic superstition, as he was asked about it after he dropped 42 points to eliminate the top-seeded Bucks from this NBA season.

The Miami foward sure was in a mood during this Wednesday’s postgame interview:

“Honestly, you’re asking the wrong person,” Butler said when consulted playing in Madison Square Garden against their historic rivals. “I don’t care where we play. We just got to beat them four times. I understand you’re trying to hype it up … Whether we play in Miami or whether we play in the Garden or we play at Rucker Park, we need to win four games.”

In spite of him showing little interest, there’s a lot of information to dig into. First of all, New York won this season’s series 3-1 against the Florida squad.

But it doesn’t stop there, as Butler once played for Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau back when he represented the Chicago Bulls. “Ain’t nobody worried about Thibs,” Butler dismissed any concerns about his link to the opponent’s trainer.

If you come to think of it, there’s some truth behind the star’s apathy towards these details, as the team from South Florida just defeated the NBA’s strongest record in only five playoff matches. Miami miraculously beat Milwaukee in overtime of Game 5, 128-126, after another incredible performance by Butler.

The Miami foward was clutch once again, posting his eighth 40-point playoff exhibition with his current squad, passing franchise legend Dwayne Wade for the most in Heat history. This series triumph means that the Florida team became the first 8-seed to upset the 1-seed in the first round since 2012, back when the Sixers defeated the Bulls 4-2.

Heat hold an advantage as Knicks have suffered two major injuries

Not only did New York’s back up center Jericho Sims just underwent on his right shoulder, ending his season, they also saw their All-Star Julius Randle aggravate his left ankle injury late in the first half of Wednesday’s Game 5 on Wednesday night against the Cavaliers.

Take a look at some of the greatest moments in this fierce rivalry between both franchises:

Randle recently had returned to the team’s starting lineup after missing the last five contests of the regular season and hasn’t been the same in his performances during the first-round of the playoff series. He got injured with 1:17 left in the half as New York led by double digits, and didn’t recover for the second half.

The foward landed and hurt his ankle after trying to block Caris LeVert’s attempt, as he laid down on the floor for a few minutes as he was checked by the Knicks’ medical staff. He eventually got up and walked, but headed to the locker room for further treatment.

Randle is yet to be confirmed for Game 1 against Miami, as new information should surface in the next couple of days.

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