Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler is officially banned from Game 2 against the New York Knicks with a sprained right ankle. The injury occurred in Miami’s 108-101 victory against the Knicks on Sunday, when Butler collided with Josh Hart on a drive to the basket in the fourth quarter.
Butler remained in the game after an ankle injury on Sunday, but will not be able to play for Game 2 on Tuesday-evening. This comes after Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters Tuesday morning that the team would not make a decision on Butler’s Game 2 status until closer to 7:30pm game time.
“That is the agreement here. If he can go, he will go. If he does not have the mobility, we will have to make a responsible decision. We do not have that decision now,” Spoelstra said on Tuesday.
Immediately following play in Game 1, Butler remained on the ground for quite some time while being attended to by the Heat’s medical staff. After a timeout, Butler got up and stumbled to the free throw line to shoot his free throws, increasing the Heat’s lead to five.
At first it looked like Butler was just shooting his free throws because that’s what he had to do if he wanted to get back in the game at any point. But remarkably, he continued to play despite stumbling around in obvious pain. He didn’t do much along the way, but his presence helped the Heat close out the game and steal home field advantage.
“Find a way to win, be present, be present,” Butler said after the game. “I haven’t done much except airball a 3, but I’ll take the dub.”
Butler added that his injury felt “like a rolled ankle”, so the big question is how effectively he will progress if he can return later in the series. He was spectacular in the Heat’s historic first round upset over the No. 1 seeded Milwaukee Bucks, recording 25 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals going 8-of-16 from the field in Game 1.
Miami is going the way it is going, and since he is unable to play past Game 2, things will be tough for the Heat for the rest of the series, especially with Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo also sidelined with long-term injuries.