Heat Star Jimmy Butler Sends Warning to Knicks After Game 5 Loss

Jimmy Butler Heat-Knicks

Getty Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler celebrates during Game 4 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks contained Miami Heat‘s star Jimmy Butler to his worst offensive showing in this year’s NBA Playoffs to force Game 6 in Miami.

But despite Butler’s 19-point showing in a 112-103 loss in Game 5, his confidence hasn’t wavered even after pressure shifted to their side to close out the Knicks in their final home game in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Butler has no plans on returning to New York for a Game 7 in front of the raucous Knicks crowd at Madison Square Garden.

“If Spo [Miami coach Erik Spoelstra] tells me to play 40 minutes, I will be suited and booted and ready to do that,” Butler told reporters after the Game 5 loss. “And we’ll win.”

Butler guaranteeing a Game 6 win is a warning to the Knicks that they come to South Beach better than they were in Game 5, or the series is over.

The Heat star’s confidence flows from the fact that they came within a couple of plays away from completing a 19-point comeback even when their shots were not falling in the middle quarters and they got outrebounded and outhustled.

“I think [the loss] started with they kind of took away our aggression because we kept fouling, and that’s on us,” Butler said. “It’s not really on them.”

“We just gotta better stand in front of the ball and not reaching as much contested shots—all the little things. We can easily correct that. We will correct that. We have to correct that if we want to win, but I know the group that we have, so we’re gonna be just fine,” he added.

Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes Break 51-Year Knicks Record

Jalen Brunson and Quentin Grimes became the first pair of Knicks players to play all 48 minutes in the regulation of a playoff game since Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Jerry Lucas against the Boston Celtics in 1972.

Together, Brunson and Grimes propelled the Knicks to victory with their stellar plays.

Brunson carried the Knicks’ offense on his back, outshining Butler in an elimination game. Brunson dropped a near triple-double (38 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists against a single turnover) in 48 minutes.

On the other hand, Grimes anchored the Knicks’ perimeter defense. With Josh Hart in foul trouble all game long and RJ Barrett picking up two quick fouls in the opening quarter, Grimes was forced to play also all 48 minutes. His defense against Butler has been stellar, limiting the Heat star to 5-of-12 shooting for his lowest output in his last 10 postseason games.

He saved his best for last with his game-sealing strip on Butler with 1:36 left on one good knee after getting banged up in a Bam Adebayo screen.

One-Eyed Knicks Star

After getting named to the All-NBA Third Team, Randle started on the wrong foot, going 1-of-7 in the opening quarter and getting a big bulge and scratch just below his right eye from an inadvertent elbow from a Heat player.

“It’s the price of war, I guess,” Randle told reporters after the game. “I got it in the first quarter. I couldn’t really see anything, but seeing the guys go out and compete the way they did energize me, and it started to feel a little bit better after that. So [I’m] just happy we got the win.”

Randle did not miss in the next three quarters to finish with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting while adding five rebounds and five assists.