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Jimmy Butler’s status for playoff rematch vs. Bucks after suffering ankle injury on Christmas

Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Heat

The Miami Heat will get a chance to repeat their playoff greatness against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. While it was a hearty gentleman’s sweep in favor of the Heat during the 2020 Eastern Conference Semifinals, that same result could become trickier this go around if five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler isn’t available.

After injuring his ankle on Christmas Day against the New Orleans Pelicans, Butler has been listed as doubtful by Erik Spoelstra, per Ira Winderman of South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Butler was able to contribute two points, five rebounds, and four assists before ultimately being ruled out for the remainder of the game against the Pelicans due to ankle stiffness.

Butler was the leading force for the Heat during the 2020 playoffs, and his dog-like mentality was the catalyst that saw the Heat eliminate the Bucks in 4-1 fashion, providing an upset to a team that was considered favorites coming out of the East. The Marquette standout is coming off a phenomenal year with the Heat averaging 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and six assists per game.

While Butler was considered to be a flight risk for most teams given his outspoken personality, he seamlessly syncs into Miami’s culture while giving them an Alpha Dog mentality.

Hopefully Butler’s ankle injury isn’t too serious as the Heat look to contend in an already-shortened season compared to prior years. Butler has already stated that his club is on a mission to prove doubters wrong in the notion that last year’s NBA Finals appearance was more than a fluke.