Miami Heat: Spo Says Payton Pritchard Grab ‘Not A Basketball Play’

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat is fouled by Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat is fouled by Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat head into Monday night’s Game 4 against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals riding high off a tough and gritty Game 3 win. In a game that saw them complete the task without their best player on the floor, it was one of the most cardiac arresting games in recent memory.

Speaking of their best player though, Jimmy Butler, he will be going in Game 4. At least, he intends to give it a go.

That’s something to be fired up about if you’re a Miami Heat fan or supporter. While that is what’s to be fired up about on Monday, something has had those same fans and supporters fired up since Saturday night’s game.

It was a play in the game that might’ve been the one that caused Jimmy Butler’s knee to begin to give him issues.

As the Miami Heat head into Game 4 of the ECF,  a play from Game 3 has been called into question. Is this a ‘dirty play’ Payton Pritchard of the Celtics?

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Here’s the play in question.

As you can see in the above clip, Boston Celtics guard, Payton Pritchard, clearly grabs at Jimmy Butler’s knee and pulls him down after he falls to the ground in a collision with Butler. Though again, it’s tough to say if this “caused” Jimmy to miss the second half, it’s hard not to believe that this grab played a huge part.

While he didn’t go exactly as far as to say that, Miami Heat head coach, Erik Spoelstra, does have thoughts on the play. In fact, his thoughts on the play are that it was “not a basketball play”.

Noting that it’s too late to bring it to the attention of the league office, Spo was as candid as he can get on the topic. To be frank, it sounds like a politically correct way of calling it a dirty play by Pritchard.

Even if he wasn’t intending to injure Butler, it was dirty. If that play isn’t a part of the natural order of defense, which it isn’t, then it is what it is.

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With Butler back in the lineup for Game 4 though, potentially, that’s all you can ask for at this point. The league can’t reprimand Pritchard, but that doesn’t mean the Miami Heat have to forget.

You certainly hope they don’t.