The Miami Heat was hit with a brutal blow as their main star in Jimmy Butler suffered an MCL sprain in the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers which will keep him out for several weeks. Before the do-or-die game against the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Play-In Tournament, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra spoke about Butler's injury and the emotional reaction he has for his featured payer.

Spoelstra reacts to Butler's injury 

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) drives against against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Butler was injured towards the end of the first quarter where he drew a foul on 76ers forward Kelly Oubre Jr. and landed awkwardly on him. He was clearly in pain as he was on the ground for a while and when he eventually got up, he was hobbling to the charity stripe for his free throws.

Being the competitor that he is, Butler finished the rest of the game logging 40 minuets, scoring 19 points, but was more so used as a decoy with how limited he was in his movement. Spoelstra said before the crucial play-in game to Chicago that he feels for not only Butler, but also for Terry Rozier (neck) who will miss his sixth straight game Friday night.

“I really feel for him, I feel for Terry, they're competitors at their hearts and their souls,” Spoelstra said. “And they've put a lot into the season to be here for this time and that's just sometimes how it goes, you can't explain some of the things. It's unfortunate timing, I've seen Jimmy make that play a million times, shot fakes and nothing happened from it. I really just commend and admire him even for just trying to gut it out in the second half, even though he was far from 100%.”

Spoelstra talks the emergence of opponent and Bulls star Coby White

Despite all the hurdles in front of Miami, they have been known to embrace it and prevail under dire circumstances as they look to silence the doubters and beat the Bulls. However, Chicago should not be underestimated as even though they finished with a sub. 500 record, they are hungry, especially after a dominant win over the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday.

The Bulls were led by star Coby White who had a career-nigh scoring 42 points, collected nine rebounds, and recorded six assists. Spoelstra talked about White and said to ClutchPoints that with how much his confidence has risen, “his usage rate has gone up” along with it.

“His confidence level has gone up, his usage rate has gone up, and the balls is in his hands more, they lead the league in volume of pick and roles, he's involved in a lot of them,” Spoelstra said. “He's grown as a player and he's had to weather some ups and downs during his career and you have to respect somebody that's kind of done it in a different path where it didn't happen necessarily, immediately. So a lot of the things we were talking about with [Tyrese] Maxey he can he can do a lot of those things.”

Butler's injury is dreadful for a multitude of reasons with one of the key ones being that there is a great chance that Heat fans saw the 34-year old play his last game of the season. Even if they beat the Bulls Friday night, they have a first round playoff series against the No. 1 seed in the Boston Celtics which would be a rematch of the conference finals last season.