Jimmy Butler missed Game 5 of the Miami Heat's first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks with knee inflammation, but, from his spot on the bench, he still managed to make his presence felt. With less than two minutes to go in the first half, Butler celebrated a Max Strus 3 by, uh, thrusting on the sideline.
Take a look:
The shot gave Strus 10 second-quarter points, and it was part of a 17-0 Miami run, including a personal 10-0 run from Strus. Butler's gesture seemed to amuse Heat assistant coach Caron Butler and reserve center Omer Yurtseven, and Butler himself was certainly having fun ... but at what cost?
The answer is $15,000 for Butler, and, separately, $15,000 for the Heat. The NBA announced Thursday that Butler has been fined "for making an obscene gesture," and the organization has been fined for posting a GIF of said gesture on social media. The tweet in question has since been deleted.
This was not the only costly bench behavior on display in that game. During the third quarter, Miami's Markieff Morris grabbed and held Atlanta's De'Andre Hunter from the sideline, a sneaky maneuver that prevented Hunter from "completely reestablishing himself inbounds as he caught a pass from a teammate," as the league put it. This earned Morris a technical foul at the time, and, as you can probably guess because I am quoting an official NBA press release, it also cost him some money.
Morris was fined $25,000 for this:
After eliminating the Hawks and advancing to the second round with a 97-94 win in Game 5, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra praised Butler and Kyle Lowry, who was out with a hamstring injury, for being engaged and involved.
"They just infused just great life into our guys," Spoelstra said. "And particularly when it got a little bit uneven, guys were just coming back to the bench and they see Jimmy and Kyle right there in the mix, it's hard not to gain confidence from that."