Jimmy Butler played just 20 minutes on Saturday afternoon in the Miami Heat’s Game 3 Eastern Conference playoff victory against the Boston Celtics.
The 32-year-old finished with eight points before being ruled out at halftime due to right knee inflammation.
While Butler has been dealing with right knee soreness for quite some time, eagle-eyed fans at home couldn’t help but wonder if one particular “dirty play” exasperated the issue.
The sequence in question involved Celtics guard Payton Pritchard seemingly grabbing Butler’s knee as he was moving towards the basket:
Pritchard pretty clearly trips up Jimmy Butler here. Why is nobody talking about this? pic.twitter.com/AcqA7S1GrV
— Dan (TOBIAS HARRIS OVER ME??) (@_NBAfanDan) May 22, 2022
Reactions to this clip on social media were roughly what you’d expect:
I knew I didn’t like Pritchard https://t.co/NKyqH1SCP1
— Greg Sylvander (@GregSylvander) May 22, 2022
He literally tripped him
— 3 (@Flashbaka) May 22, 2022
seems like an incredibly dangerous non basketball play
— court corner (@courtcorner) May 22, 2022
Boston has a lot of dudes who can’t play basketball but makes 3s from time to time. Pritchard is one of them. You wouldn’t even choose him in the park
— Tarantado1899 (@tarantado1899) May 22, 2022
this is an intentional foul but like to trip someone is kinda overdoing it, especially when you trip him around the knee and your on the floor. but everyone gonna say it’s just a foul. everything is just a foul now
— Haslem’s Burner (2-1) (@GetBackHaslem) May 22, 2022
Obviously everyone will draw their own conclusions as to the maliciousness of that play – but it definitely doesn’t look great.
Fortunately, it appears as though Butler is currently set to play in Game 4 anyway.
This has been a rough playoffs when it comes to dirty moves. There has been one issue after another on that front. This most recent incident is just par for the course.
Between what Al Horford’s sister had to say about Miami and now this particular sequence, the Eastern Conference Finals have been quite chippy up to this point.
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 22, 2022
Will that continue going forward?
Time will tell.