Bam Adebayo dishes on how Jimmy Butler is feeling in wake of knee injury

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo provided the media with an update on his teammate in Jimmy Butler after the forward suffered a knee injury in Miami’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the play-in tournament.

“He’s alright,” Adebayo said when asked if he’s talked to Butler since the latter suffered his knee injury. “Jimmy’s gon’ be Jimmy. He’s still gon’ support us. And for us, we just go out there, lock in and rally around each other.”

Butler has officially been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and will be unable to take the court with his teammates for multiple weeks.

The forward still logged nearly 40 minutes — the second-most of any player on the Heat — in Miami’s 105-104 loss to the 76ers, but he didn’t appear to be in his playoff form in terms of his scoring production. Butler scored 19 points but converted only five of his 18 shots from the field and went 2-of-6 from deep.

On the defensive side of the ball, however, it’s difficult to criticize his performance. After all, he tallied a season-high five steals. For context, Miami finished with 12 steals as a team.

Butler was arguably Miami’s best player during the 2023-24 regular season despite not receiving an All-Star nod. In 60 games played for the Heat, he averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting a career-high 41.4 percent from deep.

The 34-year-old led the Heat in points and assists in the regular season.

But the Heat’s season will come to an abrupt end if the team is unable to beat the Chicago Bulls on Friday sans Butler, a player whose presence has been invaluable to the squad. On top of that, Miami will be without Terry Rozier as well, who has been sidelined for the Heat for almost a fortnight at this juncture.

On the flip side, if the short-handed Heat were to earn a victory over Chicago, the team would take on Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics are a new and improved team compared to a season ago though, as Boston now has Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis complementing Brown, Tatum and Derrick White in the starting lineup.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.