Miami Heat source on Jimmy Butler: ‘If he’s good, this is going to be a short series’'
3 Min Read

A source close to the Miami Heat believes that the team will have a short series with the New York Knicks as long as Jimmy Butler isn’t injured, according to the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy.

Butler went down in the fourth quarter of Miami’s Game 1 win over the Knicks, but he was able to finish the game. The Heat star was noticeably hobbled during the closing minutes of the game.

“If he’s good,” said a source close to the Heat, “this is going to be a short series.”

The Heat, the No. 8 seed in the East, pulled off the upset of the No. 5-seeded Knicks in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden behind 25 points from Butler. The star wing also added 11 rebounds and four assists for the Heat in the win.

Miami made quick work of the No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, so it makes sense that the team has confidence facing the Knicks. New York did win the season series with the Heat, but playoff Butler has been on a different level this season.

It’s worth noting that the Knicks were without two-time All-Star forward Julius Randle on Sunday, as he’s dealing with an ankle injury. Randle initially injured the ankle against the Heat on March 29, and it cost him the final five games of the regular season.

He returned for New York’s first-round series with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he re-injured the ankle in the team’s series-clinching win in Game 5.

For the Heat, stealing Game 1 on the road is massive. The two teams play Game 2 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, so if Miami really needs to rest Butler it could do that now that it has taken home-court advantage for the series.

The Heat and Butler will also benefit from Game 3 of the series not being played until Saturday, May 6, giving Butler almost a full week to heal from Sunday’s injury.

The Heat have made the Eastern Conference Finals in two of the last three seasons, and they have much more experience than this current Knicks team in the playoffs.

It seems like the team feels it can make a third appearance in the Conference Finals in four seasons as long as Butler is able to keep playing at a high level.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.