It had been awhile since the Pacers and Heat had really gotten into it, as there was a time when the two resembled rivals in the past, roughly a half-decade ago. But gone are both Dwyane Wade and Lance Stephenson, as well as LeBron James, so times have changed.
However, Wednesday’s Pacers-Heat game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse had all the drama of a heated rivalry of old.
The Heat were blowing the doors off the Pacers, leading 79-56 in the third quarter, and it appeared that took a toll on the home team, frustrating them. Jimmy Butler blew by TJ Warren on one particular play, and it appeared he had an easy layup. Warren wasn’t having it, though, so he grabbed Butler by behind. That infuriated Jimmy Buckets, and the two went face-to-face, nearly coming to blows. The two were each hit with technical fouls, but that wasn’t all.
On the very next inbounds play, Butler jammed his shoulder into Warren, resulting in an offensive foul. Warren was happy about it, so he taunted Butler, clapping right at him. That earned him a second technical, and an ejection. Butler was loving it, so he blew Warren a kiss. As for Warren, well, he flipped off Butler in response on his way off the court.
That sequence of events had it all.