Jimmy Butler issues stern warning regarding playoffs if Miami Heat play like they did vs. Atlanta Hawks

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An aggravated Jimmy Butler challenged his Miami Heat teammates after the Heat lost to an undermanned Atlanta Hawks team in an important game for both teams on Friday night.

Butler was asked after the 118-103 loss if the contest had the feel of a postseason clash, and veteran did not mince words when describing what he saw.

“I hope not close at all because we got out butts handed to us,” Butler said when asked if the game resembled a playoff clash. “So we don’t want to pretend that that one was like a playoff game because if it was, we would be going home really, really early.”

With the win, the Hawks now have clinched the advantage over the Heat if any head-to-head tiebreaker should be needed to determine playoff seeding.

What no doubt got under Butler’s skin was the fact that the Hawks were missing multiple key players and still dominated, connecting on 15 3-pointers and hitting 53.8 percent of their shots on the night. Both Trae Young and Clint Capela missed the game.

Butler contributed 19 points, seven assists and two rebounds, but the lack of defense during the game proved to be costly for the Heat.

The loss stopped the momentum of the Heat’s three-game winning streak entering the game and continues the team’s inconsistent season, which now has it holding a 31-29 record.

The Heat will try to take Butler’s words to heart as quickly as possible, with a Saturday night matchup against the Chicago Bulls next on the schedule.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.