Jimmy Butler ensured that we at least get two more games of the NBA Finals with his 40-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound performance in Game 3 against the Lakers on Sunday. It was a Herculean effort from the Heat star, one they desperately needed with Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic both still out with injuries.
Butler had 10 of his 40 in the fourth quarter, including eight in the closing four minutes to keep the Lakers at bay as they pulled away for an 11-point win. As Butler walked to the bench after his final bucket to ice things, he was yelling “they’re in trouble!” at his teammates to their delight, and while it’s not out of character for Butler to talk his talk after a game like that, it did raise some eyebrows.
After the game, he was asked about that very moment by the NBA TV crew on site, and he explained that he was simply repeating something LeBron James told him in the first half.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 5, 2020
I didn’t think it got much spicier than yelling “they’re in trouble” as a pretty strong underdog (even still with a 2-1 series deficit and injury questions) but it’s that much better that he was barking the same thing LeBron tried to tell him in the first half as the Lakers chipped away at Miami’s advantage.
We knew Butler and the Heat would fight in this series no matter what, but not too many thought they’d get a game without Adebayo and Dragic. Now that they have, with one or both of those players potentially returning to the court soon, things are very interesting and the chatter will only pick up if Miami can come out firing again in Game 4.