MIAMI – While he's only been around for a little more than a year, there is no denying that Jimmy Butler completely gets what Heat Culture is all about.
When Butler arrived in South Florida last summer, it was clear that the competitive, old school forward fit into Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra's world like a glove.
Butler's fierce intensity and hardworking nature has shown throughout his first season with the Heat, but perhaps never more prevalent than when Miami has faced their upcoming playoff opponent, the Indiana Pacers.
The battles between Butler and Pacers star T.J. Warren have provided great entertainment for basketball fans, so a playoff series should only add fuel to the fire.
Jimmy being Jimmy, he's shown no lack of confidence when discussing Miami's first round opponent.
“The tougher team is going to end up winning in the end,” Butler said Sunday. “I think we have that in our corner. I think we’re going to have that in our corner every series.”
Miami went 3-1 against the Pacers during the regular season, dropping the finale last week while utilizing a lineup of mostly reserve players during the second half.
No amount of success is going to sway the focus of Butler and his teammates, though. Toughness is what this group thrives on. They embrace it.
Expect Miami to show up for the series opener on Tuesday ready to go to war.
"It's going to be a dogfight," Butler said. "But I think we've got some dogs."
Tipoff for Game 1 is set for 4 p.m. The full schedule of the Heat-Pacers series can be found by clicking here.