NBA

Miami Heat playing the waiting game with injured Jimmy Butler for Game 3 vs New York Knicks

By Sports Desk May 04, 2023

The Miami Heat are in wait-and-see mode when it comes to Jimmy Butler’s right ankle sprain as it pertains to his status for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the New York Knicks on Saturday.

"No update. I'm not going to get into all the minutiae of it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said on Thursday.

"When we find out how he is feeling on Saturday, we'll let you know. That's what the deal is."

Butler sat out Tuesday's 111-105 loss to the Knicks because of the ankle sprain that he sustained late in Sunday's 108-101 win in the series opener at Madison Square Garden.

Although he never came out of Game 1 after getting hurt, the six-time All-Star was noticeably limping and played a smaller role in Miami's offense down the stretch.

Still, the Heat managed to hold on for the victory and now return to Miami having stolen New York's home-court advantage.

By sitting out in Game 2, the 33-year-old Butler also has five days off between games to get treatment on the ankle in an effort to return to full strength.

Tuesday was just the fourth game since late January that Butler sat out, and two of those were the final two regular-season games with the Heat already ticketed for the play-in tournament.

Butler has been instrumental to Miami's surge into the conference semi-finals as the eighth seed.

He is averaging an NBA-leading 35.5 points per game in the playoffs on 58.5 per cent shooting, along with 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

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