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Erik Spoelstra Blames Payton Pritchard For Jimmy Butler's Injury: "That Was Not A Basketball Play"

Erik Spoelstra Blames Payton Pritchard For Jimmy Butler's Injury: "That Was Not A Basketball Play"

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are in the middle of an extremely rough series in the Eastern Conference Finals. While the Heat are currently up 2-1 in the series, it doesn't look like they can convincingly win, especially with the injuries that are plaguing this series.

Miami will have a diminished Jimmy Butler playing after suffering a knee injury in Game 3. Butler is out on the court in Game 3, but he definitely won't be playing at his best self as we have seen through these playoffs. Coach Erik Spoelstra knows who to blame and outrightly accused Celtics guard Payton Pritchard for injuring Butler.

In the second quarter of Game 3, Pritchard swiped at the ball and ended up grabbing Butler's knee. While a foul was called, it was ruled a common foul. Butler would end up sitting the entire second half for Miami and coach Spoelstra was not happy about losing his star to the Pritchard foul:

“We don’t know. It could have had an effect. It was not a basketball play. We’re not really sure as to why it was determined as that was a basketball play, or that was a legal play or that was a safe play. We’re not going to say it’s bigger than it was, because we don’t know if that’s what triggered Jimmy’s injury. But, regardless, it should be two separate examples. And we don’t need it. We don’t care. The league doesn’t have to do anything. We’re not begging.”

Spoelstra is fair to be aggrieved. We saw an injury like this derail the second-round matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies after Jordan Poole did something similar to Ja Morant. Morant would not play in the series again and the Warriors would win in 6.

Butler hasn't been ruled out and is playing in Game 3. However, his effectiveness is clearly limited, as the Heat had one of the worst scoring first quarters in playoff history