It didn’t take long for Jimmy Butler and Trae Young to clash.
In the first quarter of Sunday’s series-opener between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, Young fouled Butler to halt a fast break. Butler’s appeared to take umbrage to the hard contact, causing the two stars to face off and butt heads before the official and teammates intervened.
— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) April 17, 2022
Butler and Young are both fiery competitors who often play with a chip on their shoulders, so neither team leader is likely to back down from the other. While Butler is no stranger to skirmishes, whether with opponents or teammates, Young appeared to revel in playing the villain during last year’s testy opening-round series against the New York Knicks.
Miami, which earned the Eastern Conference’s top seed after a 53-29 season, exited the first quarter with a 23-17 lead over the No. 8-seeded Hawks. Young salvaged a playoff ticket for his squad by dropping 38 points (32 in the second half) to secure a 107-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Friday’s final play-in game.
With both stars in playoff mode, this early encounter could set the table for a spirited series.
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