“Playoff Jimmy” is an actual factor.

Watching Jimmy Butler intestine the Knicks protection — and even intestine his method by means of a badly sprained proper ankle — wasn’t a shock.

What’s surprising was the Knicks not making the visibly harm Warmth star pay Sunday through the opener of their second-round playoff sequence.

Butler, who had 25 factors and 11 rebounds in Miami’s 108-101 Sport 1 win on the Backyard, rolled his ankle whereas being fouled by Josh Hart with 5:05 left.

However he refused to go away, keen himself to the end line regardless of being practically motionless.

“Discover a solution to win, be on the market, be current. I didn’t do an excessive amount of apart from airball [a free throw], however I’ll take the W,” Butler mentioned in an on-court TV interview.

Requested how his harm felt, he replied, “Like a rolled ankle.”

“We’re simply taking part in nice basketball,” Butler mentioned. “We’re collectively at residence on the highway, by means of good and thru the dangerous. We consider we will do one thing particular and we’re going to proceed to play as such and see the place we find yourself in the long run.”

Miami Warmth ahead Jimmy Butler lays on the ground after he’s harm through the fourth quarter.
Charles Wenzelberg

Butler, who has had a litany of ankle accidents, didn’t discuss to the press within the locker room, and Warmth coach Erik Spoelstra had no replace on the grade or severity of the harm.

“Jimmy turned his ankle. I don’t know what you guys need me to say about that,” Hart mentioned with a shrug. “Enjoying protection, clearly there was a collision. Sadly, he turned his ankle. You guys seen the play.”

And the world noticed Butler hobble off the court docket earlier than gingerly returning to take his free throws.

Comply with The Publish’s protection of the Knicks vs. Warmth NBA playoff sequence

“That’s our man, our star, our franchise participant,” Kyle Lowry mentioned. “We at all times need him to stand up and the thought is hopefully he’s OK. But when he’s not we’ve got to carry it down, we’ve acquired to discover a solution to win the sport.

“However that’s what he does: He completed the sport.”

Butler completed it as a decoy on offense and motionless on protection.

But the Knicks surprisingly didn’t matchup hunt to punish him with RJ Barrett.

“Tough state of affairs. Clearly, he wasn’t 100%,” Jalen Brunson admitted. “He’s among the finest defenders within the league, so even when his ft aren’t transferring quick side-to-side, he has nice arms. However as a crew we’ve acquired to do a greater job recognizing what’s occurring, particularly late within the recreation. It begins with me.”

Even the Warmth admitted shock that the Knicks didn’t decide on Butler.

Miami Warmth ahead Jimmy Butler lays on the ground after he’s harm through the fourth quarter.
Charles Wenzelberg

“Yeah, particularly as a result of he was on RJ, and RJ has been taking part in so effectively the previous few, three or 4 video games. So yeah a bit bit,” mentioned Kevin Love. “He’s so headstrong man, its wild. He leads us each single night time, units the tone for us.

“We knew that that is the kind of sequence it’s going to be it’s going to be bodily guys are gonna get banged up. … Clearly, you by no means need to see any person of his caliber or anyone on the ground … get an harm or roll their ankle. However for him to maintain taking part in and simply nonetheless be efficient, it simply exhibits you who Jimmy Butler is and what he’s about. … He’s nice.”