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Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is an MVP candidate and a three-time All-Defensive selection, but Jimmy Butler isn’t intimidated.
“Joel’s a hell of a player,” Butler told reporters when asked about getting matched up with him on switches. “That’s my guy, too. But I’m not scared of him either. I don’t think anybody is. Nobody’s scared of nobody in this matchup, so I’ll attack him like I’ll attack anybody else. I like it, he takes that challenge. He’s the MVP, he’s their team’s best player, that’s what he’s supposed to do.”
While the 76ers evened the series at two games apiece with a 116-108 victory in Sunday’s Game 4, Butler looked anything but scared.
He put Miami on his back to the tune of 40 points, six assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks, which is about the only thing that kept it close since the visitors shot just 7-of-35 (20.0 percent) from deep and struggled to contain the 76ers on the other end.
Embiid (24 points and 11 rebounds) impressed with a double-double, but it was James Harden who took over in crunch time with 31 points, nine assists and seven rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting from deep.
Butler may need to take on Embiid more often if the Heat are going to advance.