Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler will have some sort of breather this season.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday he will attempt to limit Butler’s minutes much as possible. It will be sort of like a load management program.
“He’s not going to be playing the kind of minutes, regardless, that he was playing when he was in his early 20s,” Spoelstra said. “We were already adjusting that last year during the regular season. I understand how much energy that he expended during that bubble run.”
After averaging 33 minutes during the regular season, Butler played 38 minutes a game in the postseason. Butler played an epic 47 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
“You want to be a mindful of all this,” Spoelstra said. “It is a long journey.”
With that said, Butler would rather be in this position than the alternative of being rested because of an early exit from the postseason or playing for a team in the lottery.
“I tell him all the time, this is the life you chose,” Spoelstra said. “Ultimately, this is what you wanted to be part of these teams that play deep into the playoffs. Historically, this is different. It’s a quicker turnaround for those kind of teams. If you consistently go to the Finals, guys like Golden State, all of LeBrons teams, our former teams, those were quick turnarounds.”
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