Philadelphia 76ers Spoil Jimmy Butler's Return
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- For a couple of weeks now, Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler has promoted his return to Philadelphia, which went down on Saturday night. From discussing his close relationship with Joel Embiid to teasing some behind the scenes drama that apparently went down last season, Butler created tons of buzz behind his return to Philadelphia.
On the eve of the matchup though, Butler attempted to keep his cool by downplaying whatever crowd reaction he may or may not receive when playing against his most recent former team. When asked about whether he thinks he would be booed or cheered for, Butler shrugged it off and acted as if the crowd's perception would mean nothing.
Fast forward to Saturday night, and Butler got the response he might've been expecting. As the Sixers announced Butler's return when introducing the Heat's starting lineup, the former Sixer was met with tons of loud boos -- and it didn't stop until the game ended.
Nobody is surprised that Philadelphia fans booed Butler. However, the number of times he heard the disproval of the crowd was somewhat unexpected. There wasn't a single moment on Saturday that Butler didn't hear it from the home fans. He might not admit that the hostility affected his game, but the stat sheets will say otherwise.
If Butler was truly plotting for revenge on Saturday, his strategy surely didn't work. From the start of the game, the Sixers were on fire. They put their foot on the gas and never seemed to have looked back. While many might've expected Butler to be playing with a massive chip on his shoulder considering the circumstances, in all reality, he looked like just another guy out there on the court with the rest of his team.
After playing in only 30 minutes, Butler wrapped up his return to Philly draining four of his 13 attempted shots from the field, totaling for 11 points. Butler's Heat didn't do much to offer any help either. The Sixers ended up closing the matchup by winning 113-86.
There are still some games left on the schedule for Butler to turn things around against the Sixers this year, but for the time being, Philadelphia fans and their team have gotten their way against their new enemy in the first matchup. Butler will return to Philly once again on December 18th.