Erik Spoelstra’s immediate reaction to Victor Oladipo’s devastating injury

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The Miami Heat took a 2-1 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks with a 121-99 win on Saturday, but the victory was shaded by a couple of injuries.

Jimmy Butler left the game in the third quarter after falling and hurting his back, while reserve guard Victor Oladipo appeared to injure his left knee late in the contest. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t have much to say about Oladipo’s status after the game.

Miami shocked a lot of people by upsetting the top-seeded Bucks, who had the NBA’s best record in the regular season, in Game 1, 130-117, as Giannis Antetokounmpo exited the game with a back injury.

It lost Game 2, but it now seems to have at least some control of the series with Game 4 scheduled to take place at Kaseya Center on Monday. However, Butler’s status is the big concern for the Heat, who have already been without guard Tyler Herro due to a hand injury he sustained in Game 1.

Butler put up 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting in 28 minutes on Saturday after going off for 35 points on 15-of-27 from the field and 11 assists in Game 1. Kyle Lowry, who has struggled for most of this season, added an efficient 15 points and three assists in 28 minutes off the bench.

Oladipo got 19 minutes on Saturday and shot 4-of-6 from the field, scoring eight points to go along with two steals. He had 15 points in Game 2.

The guard has been injury-prone over the years, especially ever since he suffered a ruptured quad tendon during the 2018-19 season. Since coming to the Heat two seasons ago, his availability has been an issue, and even when he has played this season, his shooting percentages have been very low.

They cannot afford to have any more key players go down, especially if Antetokounmpo is able to return for Game 4. A win in that contest will be of the utmost importance, as the Heat will not want to return to Wisconsin for a pivotal Game 5 with the series tied, especially while shorthanded.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.