Heat not happy with this play between Pritchard, Butler from Game 3 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler wasn't able to play in the second half of his team's Game 3 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night due to right knee inflammation.
The Heat had a 15-point halftime lead when Butler departed, and despite an impressive comeback attempt by the Celtics, Miami held on for a 109-103 victory and a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Heat were not happy with one play involving their veteran forward and Celtics guard Payton Pritchard in the second quarter of Game 3. The two got tangled up, and Butler ended up falling to the floor (see a replay in the video below). Pritchard was whistled for a foul, but nothing more.
Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra did not view it as a basketball play. Here's what he told reporters Monday morning:
Former NBA player J.J. Redick didn't see anything wrong with the play, and he explained why during ESPN's "Get Up!" morning show Monday.
"The reason it didn’t get attention is because Erik Spoelstra didn’t come out after the game and accuse Payton Pritchard of a dirty play, because it wasn’t," Redick said.
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"This shouldn’t even be a thing. He fell down, he’s trying to foul Jimmy so that he doesn’t get downhill and make a play. And he grabbed his quad, he didn’t even grab his knee. Look, Jimmy has been dealing with this injury for a while now and missed a game in Round 1 against the Hawks. This is a non-issue to me."
The Heat updated their injury report Monday morning and listed Butler among five players who will go through pre-game warmups with the intent to play.
Miami ruled out guard Tyler Herro because of a groin injury. Herro hopes to be back for Game 5 on Wednesday night in Miami.