Miami Heat named Jimmy Butler to the list doubtful for game 4 on Monday. Butler left the Heat’s Game 3 victory in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Boston Celtics with knee inflammation on Saturday night. Butler played 19 minutes in the first half, but did not leave the locker room after the break.
It’s unclear if there was a specific case that caused the flare-up, but Butler had knee problems throughout the playoffs. He previously missed Game 5 of the Heat’s first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks due to knee inflammation. In general, this season for Butler was overshadowed by injuries. He only played 57 games for a variety of reasons including ankle, coccyx, toe and shoulder problems.
Butler’s injury isn’t the Heat’s only problem ahead of Game 4. Also included in Miami are Tyler Herro (groin), PJ Tucker (knee), Max Strus (hamstring), Gabe Vincent (hamstring), and Kyle Lowry (hamstring). ) as doubtful. Lowry played 29 minutes in Game 3, but prior to that, was sidelined in Miami’s last four playoff games with a hamstring injury. Tucker injured his knee in Game 2 but did not miss time with the injury. While Herro, Strus and Vincent had a normal workload in Game 3, having them all listed on the injury report makes it clear just how tough the Heat are right now.
Despite the Heat now being riddled with injuries, Butler’s potential absence could be the biggest. He almost single-handedly won Game 1 of the series with 41 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. In the playoffs, he averages 29.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 54% from the field.
In the end, the Heat survived Game 3 without Butler, but his absence for a while longer could have hurt Miami. We’ll have to wait and see before Game 4 if Butler’s knee is ready to go.