Jimmy Butler is beloved by Miami Heat fans, not only because of his clutch heroics and tremendous leadership abilities, but also for his unique sense of humor. The man loves to keep everyone on edge. Not even terrible injury news is enough to completely break his spirits.

Butler devastatingly suffered an MCL injury early in Wednesday's 105-104 NBA Play-In Tournament loss to the Philadelphia 76ers when Kelly Oubre Jr. got fooled on a pump fake and landed on his knee. He is out for Friday's do-or-die showdown with the Chicago Bulls and is expected to miss several more weeks if the Heat advance into the playoffs.

This is a demoralizing blow to a team and fan base that always enters another gear during the postseason. The six-time All-Star is doing his best to make light of the situation, however, like only he knows how.

“{Kelly Oubre Jr.} we throwing hands,” Butler replied in a Heat Instagram post that revealed the bad news regarding his playing status, via Ball Don't Lie.

The veteran wing has seen practically everything during his 13-year career and has sustained his share of injuries, so he knows a mishap can occur in a fast-paced and physical game such as playoff basketball. Though, that does not mean he will not seize an opportunity to be an instigator.

Jimmy Butler prides himself on being a social media troll, and this “jab” perfectly embodies his fun-loving nature. It is encouraging to see him joke around following this brutal, potentially season-ending setback. South Beach is probably finding it difficult to smile or laugh right now, however.

Heat are reeling after Jimmy Butler injury

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

No one can weather a storm quite like head coach Erik Spoelstra and this Miami squad (46-36), but surviving an injury hurricane of this magnitude seems unfathomable. Although Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Jaime Jaquez Jr. (15 points in 22 minutes) can lead the Heat to a home win over the Bulls, this team's ceiling is quickly closing in without “Playoff Jimmy” on the court.

The public underestimates this franchise at its own peril, as evidenced by two unexpected NBA Finals runs in the last four years. But winning a series against the Boston Celtics sans Butler would require divine intervention. This scrappy group might need to be lifted in the air, a la Matthew McConaughey's character in “Angels in the Outfield,” far above the reach of its opponent.

There is no sense in jumping ahead, though. Miami must first take care of business in the Kaseya Center on Friday night before planning for a matchup with the No. 1 seed in the East. While offense might be hard to come by with both Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier sidelined, the Heat have the chemistry and defensive toughness to extend their season.

Though, unless Herro bounces back and produces a high-quality effort, the No. 8 seed will probably not be procured.

Tyler Herro must assume the alpha role

The 2022 Sixth Man of the Year missed half the season with his own injury issues, but he is presently the team's best chance to stay alive. Despite going 9-of-27 from the field versus the Sixers, Herro possesses the ability to catch fire at a moment's notice.

He averaged 20.8 points while shooting 39.6 percent from 3-point range in 2023-24. The 24-year-old guard out of Kentucky is not one-dimensional, however, impacting games also as a playmaker (4.5) and rebounder (5.3). Herro must empty his bag of tricks in this NBA Play-In Tournament matchup with the Bulls.

The mood is dour in Miami, but fans do not want to see their guys go down without putting up a fierce fight. If the Grim Reaper is coming for the Heat, the least they can do is stay true to their fabled culture.

Jimmy Butler will certainly do his part as he cheers on his teammates from the sidelines. His positive attitude could be crucial, both for his own sanity and Miami's morale.