The Miami Heat got a scare in Game 1 of their playoff matchup with the New York Knicks. The team’s best player was slow to get up following an apparent injury.
Jimmy Butler appeared to roll his ankle in the fourth quarter, leading to a reaction from head coach Erik Spoelstra. His response to the injury was much like that of viewers and fans.
Butler has been the catalyst for the Miami offense, helping the Heat upset the top seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. In that series, the guard averaged an insane 37.6 points per night.
In the final two games of the series, both of which were Miami wins, he exploded for 56 and 42 points, respectively. The performances helped the Heat close out the series as they took care of business in just five games.
The next foe on the playoff schedule is the New York Knicks. Game 1 of the seven-game set took place on Sunday.
Late in the action, with the Heat holding a slight 95-92 advantage, Jimmy Butler fell to the court holding his ankle. The injury came on a shot attempt.
After seeing his star player go down, head coach Erik Spoelstra’s reaction showed how every NBA fan was feeling watching the play.
Erik Spoelstra is all of us right now after watching Jimmy Butler turn his ankle pic.twitter.com/YU4zHIneCn
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 30, 2023
Erik Spoelstra speaking for all of Miami pic.twitter.com/9CT06be4KT
— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) April 30, 2023
Erik Spoelstra = every NBA fan outside of New York after the Jimmy Butler injury: pic.twitter.com/Qan6OmraaQ
— Jack Simone (@JackSimoneNBA) April 30, 2023
Everyone watching felt for Butler, who’s dealt with injuries throughout his career.
He would remain in the game, hitting his two free throw attempts after the ankle injury. The severity of the rolled ankle is not known, but everyone is holding their breath and hoping for the best. Erik Spoelstra included.
In what’s been a terrific playoff showing for Butler, his absence would be a huge blow to the Heat.
Miami was able to close out Game 1 with a 108-101 win. Game 2 takes place on Tuesday. Hopefully, Butler is able to give it a go.