Heat star Jimmy Butler (ankle) questionable for Game 2 vs. Knicks


Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (right ankle sprain) has been downgraded to questionable for Tuesday night’s Game 2 second-round matchup against the New York Knicks of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

“We’re just playing great basketball,” Butler said in a postgame interview after suffering his injury in the fourth quarter of Game 1. “We’re together, at home, on the road, through the good and through the bad. We believe that we can do something special.”

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Heat hold seventh-shortest odds to win the championship. A few sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

In Miami’s 108-101 second-round win over the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the six-time All-Star recorded 25 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 44 minutes of action. Plus, the forward shot 8-of-16 (50%) from the field and 9-of-11 (81.8%) at the foul line.

The Heat forward became the fifth player in NBA history to record at least 25 points on 50% shooting through six straight games of a postseason, joining LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Bernard King, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (twice).

Additionally, Butler (98 points) also became the seventh player in NBA history to record at least 95 points in a two-game span in the playoffs, joining Jordan, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Kevin Durant, Rick Barry, and Wilt Chamberlain.

Heat forward Jimmy Butler (ankle) has been downgraded to questionable for Tuesday night’s Game 2 matchup against Knicks

Through six playoff games this postseason, Butler is averaging 35.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.8 steals, and 38.3 minutes per game. The 12-year veteran is also shooting 58.5% from the floor and 42.9% outside the arc.

In the Heat’s 119-114 first-round win over Milwaukee in Game 4, the forward scored a career-high 56 points in 41 minutes played. Along with notching nine boards, two assists, and one block, Jimmy Butler shot 19-of-28 (67.9%) from the field and drained three 3-pointers.

Other players listed on Miami’s injury report include Victor Oladipo (knee), Haywood Highsmith (knee), and Tyler Herro (hand). Oladipo is out for the season, Highsmith was upgraded to probable, and Herro remains out indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the Knicks’ Julius Randle (ankle) and Jalen Brunson (ankle) are listed as questionable. Jericho Sims (shoulder) also remains out for the season. New York is 12-4 in its last 16 home games. The Knicks are 6-2 in their past eight games when playing as the favorite as well.

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Knicks have a 79.9% chance of winning Game 2 at Madison Square Garden. Sportsbooks show the Heat as 6.5-point underdogs away.

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