Typically, when the Philadelphia 76ers play the Detroit Pistons, the heated matchup to watch is Andre Drummond versus Joel Embiid. Without Embiid in the mix though, there was another heated battle to keep your eyes on – Jimmy Butler versus Blake Griffin. With the two players being the biggest stars on their respective teams, there’s no surprise that those two were battling it out on Friday night.
On the stat sheets, Butler and Griffin were dueling it out. Butler finished on the winning side of the battle with a total of 38 points in 39 minutes. Griffin, as always, led the charge against the Sixers with 31 points in 38 minutes. And like last time, Griffin and the Pistons settled for defeat. Except for this time, it was on their own court.
The last time the Sixers and the Pistons went at it, Butler wasn’t in Philly just yet. Now that he’s there, he’s just another smack-talking superstar to bother those guys in Detroit when they match up. Nothing got too crazy on Friday night, but Butler and Griffin had a moment on the court late in the game, which caused a bit of an uproar. Griffin ended up getting a ‘T,’ and Butler ended up losing his cool for the first time since joining the Sixers.
What Caused This to Go Down?
It wasn’t a blatant foul, but Griffin’s elbow placement in the face of Butler caused the Sixers forward to lose his cool a bit. Everybody is well aware of the fire that Butler brings, but there hasn’t really been a moment yet since Butler has been in Philly where he goes off. That changed on Friday, though. Butler was in the zone and taking charge.
As he brought his A-Game on the offensive side of the ball, his defense was fantastic as well. A star like Griffin knows that he needs to attempt to get into the head of the guy who’s hot on the court. But the plan simply ended up backfiring, and Butler owned the court in Detroit. Shortly after the game, Butler addressed the entire situation and explained why he was frustrated with Griffin throughout the second half of the game.
Butler Explains His Actions
“He was trying to be tough – throwing elbows and all of that good stuff.” Anybody who has played against Griffin knows that he tends to get aggressive. It’s all a part of the game. And a seasoned veteran like Jimmy Butler knows not to get mad at the situation exactly, but instead get even. Not by throwing elbows and cheap shots though. Butler just took over the game and dominated, which helped the Sixers come out on top with a victory.
No Embiid? No problem. Now, the Sixers will look to get a fresh JoJo back into the mix when they return to the court on Monday to take on the Pistons once again. Will the situation between Griffin and Butler cool down by then? The Chances are slim if we’re honest. But the return of Embiid, who will be facing off against his favorite opponent, Andre Drummond may take the spotlight off of the Butler-Griffin beef.