Miami Heat receives the worst news of the moment

PHILADELPHIA-. The guard of Miami Jimmy Butler will undergo an MRI on his right knee on Thursday, while the Heat is preparing for the strong possibility that he will miss Friday's elimination game against the Chicago Bullssaid a person with knowledge of the situation. .

A final determination won't be made until after the MRI is read late this afternoon, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Butler nor the Heat had released details. publicly.

Even if he is diagnosed with a sprain, Butler will most likely miss several weeks, at a minimum. This only adds to Miami's major injury woes, with point guard Terry Rozier out with a neck strain and guard Duncan Robinson bothered by a back injury. Robinson was cleared to play Wednesday, but he did not appear in Miami's 105-104 loss to Philadelphia.

Butler was hurt late in the first quarter of that game against the 76ers when he tried to fool Kelly Oubre Jr. on a basket. His knee buckled and he fell to the ground. Oubre seemed to land on the Heat star, who led the franchise to the NBA Finals last season.

“I fell, he landed and my knee just wasn't right, I guess,” Butler said Wednesday night. “I don't know. It's not a good feeling, I can tell you that.”

Butler made the free throw, exhaled and missed the second. He stayed in the game and scored 19 points, but the Heat blew what was a 14-point lead and will now face Chicago in a win-or-win game on Friday. The winner gets the No. 8 seed and a first-round matchup with the top-seeded Boston Celtics in a series that begins Sunday.

“We just need to get one and then we'll worry about the next one,” Butler said.

Butler's agent, Bernie Lee, told Sirius XM NBA on Thursday that the severity of the injury had not yet been determined because the MRI had not yet been performed. The Heat landed in Miami around 2 a.m. Thursday after the game in Philadelphia.

“I felt like I couldn't do much, which sucks because of the timing of the game and everything,” Butler said after the game. “I hope I'm fine. I hope to wake up tomorrow and still be able to stay and move. Right now, I can't stay, that's the case.â€

Whether Butler plays or not, the Bulls expect to have a tough time against the Heat.

“Because Jimmy is in Miami, they have a culture,†Chicago guard Ayo Dosunmu said. “Whoever takes his place, I know they will not contribute everything that he does. He's an All-Star, a great player in this league, but Miami is one of the teams when you play against them, you know what to expect. They play hard. They play physical. They don't give up. They always keep coming, they keep providing energy.â€

Butler, a former Bull and Sixer, scored 20.8 points in 60 games for the Heat. Butler, 34, said he stayed in the game because he thought “the adrenaline would come back” and he would feel healthy enough to play at his usual level.

Butler was 5 of 18 from the field overall, but scored just two points in the fourth quarter, when the Heat collapsed in the fourth.

“It just wasn't the case,” he said. “I couldn't do anything on either side of the ball. I think I actually hurt us more than I helped us.â€