The Minnesota Timberwolves left the floor following their loss to the Houston Rockets deeper in the doldrums than they typically would. Midway through the third quarter, leading scorer Jimmy Butler snatched a rebound and pump faked over Rockets defenders before sinking to the floor, clutching his right knee.
Jimmy Butler leaves game vs. Rockets with an apparent knee injury.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2018
Butler tried to pick himself up off the floor and play on, but was approached by Chris Paul, who quickly advised him to stay down. Butler was unable to put any weight on his right leg and was carried to the locker room.
The tendency to overextend his superstars has been a concern of Tom Thibodeau-coached teams in the past and Butler was the embodiment of that over-usage. Entering Friday night, Butler led the league in minutes per game, but sat out the All-Star Game to rest his body.
Butler was later caught by ESPN’s cameras, skipping into the Timberwolves locker room.
Don’t you dare take Jimmy Butler away from us, basketball gods pic.twitter.com/c3PHVEScoN
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) February 24, 2018
Thibodeau is expected to provide an update on the status of Butler’s knee.