Southeast Notes: Butler, G. Williams, Heat, Magic, Wizards

Grant Williams started trash-talking Heat star Jimmy Butler after making a three-pointer to put the Celtics up 96-87 with 6:37 remaining in Game 2. Butler smirked, came to the other end, and notched an and-one with Williams defending him. The two players went head-to-head and both received technical fouls.

The Heat finished the contest on a 24-9 run (including nine by Butler) to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, winning both of their road games in Boston. As Nick Friedell of ESPN writes, Butler admitted the exchange fueled him.

Yes, it did,” Butler said. “But that’s just competition at its finest. He hit a big shot, started talking to me. I like that. I’m all for that. It makes me key in a lot more. It pushes that will that I have to win a lot more. It makes me smile. It does. … But it’s just competition. I do respect him, though. He’s a big part of what they try to do. He switches. He can shoot the ball. I just don’t know if I’m the best person to talk to.”

For his part, Williams defended his actions, per Friedell.

I think he said something and I just responded,” Williams said. “I’m a competitor, and I’m going to battle. He got the best of me tonight, and at the end of the day, it’s out of respect, because I’m not going to run away from it. … I’m ready to come back and come into Game 3 with a better mentality, and I know this team is as well.”

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Having the same owner, key front office members, and head coach for many years running is paying dividends for the Heat, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It takes so much time and energy to restart something,” coach Erik Spoelstra said, speaking beyond his situation. “And I think that’s been a part of why we’ve been able to reboot so many times over and over and over. We’re not reinventing a new culture and then trying to teach everybody and then all of a sudden two years later it’s going to be somebody else doing the same thing.”
  • Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link) lists eight prospects the Magic should target with their two lottery picks (sixth and 11th). Some players mentioned include Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson of Overtime Elite, UCF’s Taylor Hendricks, and Kansas’ Gradey Dick.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington attended the NBA draft combine this week and observed five takeaways that could be relevant for the Wizards. Hughes believes Seth Lundy might be a solid choice with one of Washington’s two second-round picks (Nos. 42 and 57), noting that the Penn State guard’s shooting, rebounding, length and experience could make him an immediate bench contributor.
View Comments (11)