Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra felt the refs missed a flagrant foul call on Monday night after Jimmy Butler injured his ankle. The star forward will be fine.
He just landed awkwardly on it. Butler told reporters he “rolled” his right ankle early in the fourth quarter. He doesn’t anticipate missing Wednesday night’s game versus the Denver Nuggets.
“I rolled my ankle but I’ll be OK,” Butler said. “It’s always good to go out there and hoop, be ready to go tomorrow.”
The scary scene unfolded when Butler went up in the air to shoot a jumper, then Phoenix Suns guard Jevon Carter crowded his space. No foul was called and Butler shrugged off any animosity toward Carter or the refs for missing a possible foul.
“That wasn’t going to be a 20-point play to make us win the game,” Butler said. “So I’m not too worried about it.”
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) April 14, 2021
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Butler Says Guys ‘Making Stuff Up’
Butler fell two assists shy of a double-double against the Phoenix Suns and finished with 18 points and eight dimes in 32 minutes. He didn’t have the dominant fourth quarter we’ve come to expect, but he was also playing on a fragile right ankle.
The Heat had sprinted out to a 34-26 lead after the first quarter before things starting unraveling fast. There seemed to be lapses in communication, coupled with a complete lack of spacing on the offensive end.
“We start making stuff up after a while, not doing what we say we say we’re going to do and it turns bad very quickly,” Butler said. “Just got to get away from that. We know what we’re supposed to be doing. We just choose not to do it.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2021
Credit the Suns for playing lock-down defense, although the Heat had opportunities and didn’t capitalize. Center Bam Adebayo was held to 11 points, with guards Kendrick Nunn (eight) and Tyler Herro (10) both stymied.
“Offense needs to get drastically better,” Butler said. “I think we did a pretty good job on the defensive end. We had a couple of miscues but nothing too crazy. I think our offense, our spacing, moving the ball a little bit more … all of that is going to help us score a lot more points than 86.”
Nuggets Carrying On Without Jamal Murray
Miami’s next opponent is coping with the loss of one of their best players. The Denver Nuggets watched star guard Jamal Murray suffer a torn ACL on Monday night and there’s a chance he’s gone for the rest of the season. He was averaging 21.2 points per game while serving as a lethal pick-and-roll partner with MVP candidate Nikola Jocic.
“Everybody knows Jamal is a huge, huge piece to this team alongside Nikola,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris said, via CBS Sports. “Just his leadership out there. He does everything. Seeing him go down like that, it’s never nothing that you can even think was going to happen. He lifts so much. His body’s strong. It’s a touchy subject. I don’t even like really speaking about injuries.”