When Pacers forward T.J. Warren tangled with Heat wing Jimmy Butler earlier this season and Butler laughed Warren off as nowhere on his level, it seemed like there was little Warren would ever be able to do to get revenge on his rival.
He flipped off Butler following his ejection in that game, and Butler blew him kisses.
Butler is a five-time All-Star; Warren might never be voted into an All-Star Game.
“He’s soft,” Butler said afterward. “He’s not even in my … league, nowhere near me. If I was their coach, I would never put him on me ever again.”
Now, though, Warren looks like a monster on a mission to put up big numbers, potentially against the Heat in a prospective first-round postseason matchup.
He’s scored 119 points in three games in the Orlando bubble on 65.3 percent shooting. On Tuesday, he scored 32 points in a 120-109 win over the Magic.
Warren averaged 18.7 points per game before the NBA restart. He will face the Suns, who dealt him to the Pacers, next.
Warren’s three-game stretch has certainly caught many NBA fans by surprise:
TJ Warren leads the bubble in scoring with 119 points in 3 games (39.7 PPG).
He’s shooting 65.3 FG% and 60.9 3P%, while also having a bubble-best +59 +/-.
The Pacers are 3-0. pic.twitter.com/osEZRFbzU6
— StatMuse (@statmuse) August 5, 2020
Gang sign Wall
Bubble TJ Warren
— Dom2K🏀 (@Dom_2k) August 3, 2020