The Miami Heat have listed Jimmy Butler as questionable for Game 4 on Monday. Butler left the Heat’s Game 3 win 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 come out of the locker room after halftime.
It’s not clear if there was any specific instance that caused the flare-up, but Butler has been dealing with a knee problem 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 has been an injury-plagued season for Butler. He only played 57 games due to a wide variety of reasons including ankle, tailbone, toe and shoulder issues.
Butler’s injury isn’t the only area of concern for the Heat heading into Game 4. Miami has also listed Tyler Herro (groin), P.J. Tucker (knee), Max Strus (hamstring), Gabe Vincent (hamstring) and Kyle Lowry (hamstring) as questionable. Lowry played 29 minutes in Game 3, but prior to that had been sidelined for Miami’s last four playoff games with a hamstring injury. Tucker tweaked his knee in Game 2 but hasn’t missed time with the injury. While Herro, Strus and Vincent saw normal workloads in Game 3, having all of them listed on the injury report clearly shows just how banged up the Heat are right now.
Though the Heat seem to be riddled with injuries right now, Butler’s potential absence could be the biggest. He almost singlehandedly won Game 1 of this series by putting up 41 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. For the playoffs, he’s averaging 29.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game, while shooting 54 percent from the field.
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The Heat wound up surviving Game 3 without Butler but missing him for any more time could be detrimental to Miami. We’ll have to wait and see ahead of Game 4 if Butler’s knee is ready to go.