Erik Spoelstra not happy about Payton Pritchard-Jimmy Butler play
Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard tripped Jimmy Butler during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on a play that some felt was dirty. While Erik Spoelstra stopped short of placing that label on it, the Miami Heat coach clearly did not approve.
Butler left Game 3 on Saturday night with a knee injury late in the first half and did not return. Prior to his exit, he took an awkward fall after Pritchard grabbed him by the knee area and tripped him. You can see the video here.
Spoelstra was asked about the play ahead of Game 4 on Monday. He said “it was not a basketball play” and that he is unsure why Pritchard was not called for a flagrant foul. Spoelstra also said it is unclear if the trip contributed to Butler’s knee soreness.
Erik Spoelstra was not happy with a play by Boston's Payton Pritchard against Jimmy Butler… Here's what Spo had to say.
— WPLG Local 10 Sports (@Local10Sports) May 23, 2022
Some people have compared the Pritchard grab to the controversial play that resulted in Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant getting hurt earlier in the postseason.
Butler is expected to play in Game 4.