Erik Spoelstra implies Miami Heat had to restrain Jimmy Butler from playing in 2nd half of Game 3 - Heat Nation

Erik Spoelstra implies Miami Heat had to restrain Jimmy Butler from playing in 2nd half of Game 3

Jimmy Butler and Marcus Smart David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat escaped with a 109-103 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday, giving them a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Unfortunately, Jimmy Butler didn’t play in the second half of the game after experiencing inflammation in his right knee. It seems that the Heat star wanted to suit up in the second half. According to Erik Spoelstra, the team’s trainers made the call to pull him.

“At halftime, the trainers made the call,” Spoelstra said. “Just feel like we’ve been in this situation a lot with a few of our guys. We almost have to restrain them. We get it, and we love it about them, how they are wired. But we also don’t want to be irresponsible.”

Apparently, Spoelstra and the rest of Miami’s staff are playing the long game.

The Heat were leading by 15 after the first half, with Butler having recorded eight points, three rebounds and two assists at that point. He didn’t get a chance to add to those numbers in the second half.

One player who stepped up in Butler’s absence was Bam Adebayo, who had been struggling in the series prior to Game 3. In the first two games against Boston, the 24-year-old big man averaged 8.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. He made an impact on Saturday night by posting 31 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to go with four steals.

Thanks in large part to Adebayo’s performance, the Heat have regained home-court advantage after getting blown out by 25 points in Game 2 at home.

Miami will have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see if Butler plays in Game 4.

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