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Jimmy Butler questionable for Christmas game vs. Pelicans

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Butler said that Magic players “stepped on my ankle” after the game last night.

Miami Heat v Orlando Magic Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat could be without Jimmy Butler for their Christmas Day match-up against the New Orleans Pelicans tomorrow. Miami listed Butler as questionable to play due to a sprained right ankle.

A couple of times during the Heat’s season opener at the Orlando Magic, Butler appeared to injure his ankle after a drive to the hoop and walk gingerly for a moment. After the game, the 10-year veteran credited the Magic “stepping on my ankle” for making just six trips to the foul line. Last year, Butler took more than nine free throw attempts per game.

Early in the fourth quarter, the referees initially awarded Butler with a potential three-point play after making a baseline jumper. But Magic coach Steve Clifford challenged the call, and the referees took away the foul while still counting the made basket.

Throughout last season, Butler suffered from some nagging injuries that caused him to miss some games here and there. That included an injury during the seeding games in the NBA bubble, and Miami suffered some losses against below-.500 teams in Butler’s absence. Hopefully Butler has better luck this season.