Report: Jimmy Butler plans to play in Game 3 vs. New York Knicks

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The Miami Heat took care of business during their road trip to Madison Square Garden to open their series against the New York Knicks, winning Game 1 to steal home-court advantage away from their opponents.

With Jimmy Butler sidelined for Game 2, the Heat weren’t able to win both road games, but they’re in pretty good shape as the best-of-seven battle shifts to Miami for Games 3 and 4.

To sweeten the deal for the Heat, they’re likely going to get their superstar back for the third game of the series. Butler plans to play in Game 3, according to a report.

Butler is once again enjoying a dominant postseason, which has become an annual tradition for him.

So far in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, he’s averaging 35.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 58.5 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. There’s virtually no question that Miami’s season would already be over if it weren’t for Butler.

In Game 1 against New York, the veteran was solid, as he finished with 25 points, 11 boards and four assists. He injured his ankle late in that one, which was the reason for his absence in Game 2.

With a healthy Butler, the Heat may have been able to steal the second game of the series, as they kept it close and ended up losing by just six points. But all things considered, they have to be happy with splitting Games 1 and 2, essentially making the remainder of the series a best-of-five affair with home-court advantage on their side.

If Butler is indeed planning to play in Game 3, one has to imagine that it would be virtually impossible for anyone within the Heat organization to change his mind. With so much at stake, Butler is likely going to do everything in his power to be available for his squad for the remainder of the postseason.

Game 3 is set for Saturday, and Game 4 will take place on Monday. If the Heat were to win both of those games, they’d find themselves in complete control of the series with a 3-1 lead.

But that’s easier said than done, and the priority right now is to prepare for Game 3 with Butler hopefully in the lineup.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.