Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler's knee injury in Game 5 against the Rockets was simply soreness and that he won't need any sort of procedure during the offseason, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reports.
Butler had surgery on his right knee at the end of February, eventually forcing him to sit out 17 games while going through the recovery process. He was cleared for the final few outings of the regular season and for the playoffs, seeing a full workload against the Rockets for all but the final game of their first-round series. Coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed Monday that his star wing wasn't dealing with anything more than some soreness in his knee and Butler will be able to avoid any sort of procedure, so look for him to be fully ready by the time training camp arrives. Butler is set to make $18.7 million next season and he should once again serve as one of the Timberwolves' go-to options.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler didn't play in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's loss to the Rockets because of soreness in his surgically repaired knee, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports.
This could help explain Butler's relatively quiet night, as he finished with just 10 points (4-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt), five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block across 30 minutes as the Timberwolves were eliminated from the playoffs. The 28-year-old returned from right knee surgery late in the season and didn't have much time to get up to speed before the postseason, so some soreness isn't all too surprising. Expect an update on his status once the Timberwolves provide one.
Butler tallied 19 points (7-17 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-5 FT), nine rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes during Monday's 119-100 loss to the Rockets.
Butler appeared very frustrated throughout the Game Four loss, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting. The Wolves were right with the Rockets at the half but gave up 50 points in the third quarter to basically take themselves out of the equation. Butler played 38 minutes in the loss so the ankle tweak from the last game did not seem to be a factor. He is going to need to bring his A-game if the Wolves hope to steal Game Five on Wednesday.
Butler totaled 11 points (3-6 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four rebounds and two assists across 25 minutes during Minnesota's 102-82 loss to the Rockets in Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
Butler's numbers were down for the second time in as many games to open the series, although Wednesday's downturn was more a function of reduced playing time than anything else. The versatile wing, like most of his first-unit mates, has been seen his series numbers fall well below his season metrics thus far, which has led to the Timberwolves' precarious 2-0 hole. Butler will need to be much more involved and productive in Saturday's Game 3 on his home floor for Minnesota to have any chance of success.
Butler produced 13 points (4-11 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, three assists and two steals across 36 minutes during Minnesota's 104-101 loss to the Rockets during Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
Butler's numbers across the board were relatively modest, and his misfire on a would-be game-tying three-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining essentially sealed the Timberwolves' fate. The seven-year veteran did prove the fitness of his previously injured knee over the final three games of the regular season, during which he averaged 21.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.7 steals across 29.0 minutes over three games. Therefore, it wouldn't be surprising to see Butler bounce back with better numbers across the board during Wednesday's Game 2.
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