Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler reveals his shoulder was giving him problems during Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers and that was the main reason for his weak performance. Butler played only 22 minutes, scored only six points but the Heat still managed to claim a 99-87 win and sweep the Pacers 4-0 to advance to the next round.
Butler was brilliant throughout the series against Indiana, scoring 28 points in Game 1, 18 points in Game 2 and 27 points in Game 3. "My shoulder was hurting a little bit after last game," Butler said on a videoconference call, per ESPN.
"It was hurting before the game, but as I was warming up, I was like maybe it will loosen up and maybe I'll be able to play at 100 percent or whatever it was. It wasn't the case. [I] went to the back, did a little bit of work, and then we decided, 'You know what? We're going to go out there and we're going to just lock in on defense.'
I think I did that, played hard and affected the game besides scoring on the offensive end."
Butler confident his shoulder will be fine
The Heat will play next against the first-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Orlando Magic.
The Heat will absolutely need Butler if they want to have a shot at upsetting the Bucks. "I'll be OK," Butler said. "Figure this thing out, do more and more treatment on it every day. Armando Rivas is my guy.
He always takes great care of me. The whole Heat training staff. I'll be fine. Rest up and lock in on our next opponent." Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Butler is a tough guy and he is confident that he will be ready.
"Obviously, he's built up a résumé over the course of his career being able to play through various injuries," Spoelstra said. "His toughness will never be questioned. But we had to take a look at it in the second quarter; it wasn't feeling great coming in, and then he got jarred again.
He probably got jarred in that shoulder three or four times during the course of the game; that's just usually the way it works out. But in the second half, he gave us some really good, competitive minutes out there, just gutting through it. And hopefully, we'll have now a few days for him to recover."