A look at the Heat’s playoff schedule scenarios. And the Grimes/Butler matchup

After the Heat plays Game 6 of its series against the Knicks on Friday, the Heat’s next game could be Monday or Wednesday. It won’t be this weekend under any circumstances.

The Heat leads the Knicks 3-2 in their best-of-7 series and can advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the third time in four years by winning Game 6 at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kaseya Center.

The three possible scheduling scenarios:

If the Heat wins Game 6 on Friday and the Philadelphia 76ers eliminate the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, then the Heat and 76ers would open the Eastern Conference finals on Monday in Philadelphia, with Game 2 scheduled for Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

The teams then would have a three-day break before Game 3 on Sunday, May 21 in Miami, followed by Game 4 on Tuesday, May 23 in Miami.

If the Heat wins Game 6 on Friday but the Celtics force a seventh game with Philadelphia, then the Heat would open the Eastern Conference finals next Wednesday, at either Boston or Philadelphia. Eastern Conference finals games then would be played every other day until the series concludes.

If the Heat loses Game 6, then the Heat and Knicks would play a seventh and deciding game at 8 p.m. Monday night in Madison Square Garden, on TNT.

In that scenario, the Eastern Conference finals definitely would begin next Wednesday, with games held every other day until the series concludes.


In his final NBA season, the Heat’s Udonis Haslem finished fifth in voting for the Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, which recognizes the league’s “ideal teammate” who exemplifies “selfless play and commitment and dedication to his team.”

Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday won the award.

Haslem finished fifth in this year’s voting, behind Holiday, Brooklyn’s Mikal Bridges, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and New York’s Derrick Rose.

NBA executives nominate the 12 finalists and players vote on the winner.

Haslem received 52 first-place votes, which were second most behind Holiday. But he received fewer second-place votes (33) and third-place votes (31) than the four players who finished ahead of him in overall voting.

The NBA began this award in 2012-13; Shane Battier was the only Heat player to ever win it (2013-14).

The award is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes. The two played together on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955 to 1958 until Stokes’ career was cut short after he sustained a head injury from a fall during a game against the Minneapolis Lakers.

Stokes later became paralyzed due to post-traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury. Twyman then became Stokes’ legal guardian until Stokes died in 1970.


Knicks guard Quentin Grimes is doing something in this series that nobody else has been able to achieve in this postseason: hold Jimmy Butler to a low shooting percentage.

Per the NBA’s tracking data, Butler is shooting 5 for 17 (29.4 percent) when guarded by Grimes. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story because the Knicks often are sending a second defender to help on Butler.

Grimes — who, along with backcourt mate Jalen Brunson, played all 48 minutes in Game 5 — said afterward that Butler “has been the best player in the playoffs so far. Knowing I have that matchup every night, be a little more disciplined. If I have to play 48, 25 [minutes], it doesn’t matter. I have to make sure I lock in defensively and try to do whatever I can to slow him down.”

Butler took only 12 field-goal attempts in Game 5, while also taking 11 free throws. He finished 5 for 12 from the field and 9 for 11 from the line, while adding nine assists and seven rebounds.

The Heat is 12-13 this season, including 0-2 in the playoffs, when Butler takes 12 or fewer shots from the field.


Knicks center Mitchell Robinson said it felt “amazing” to hit three of four free throws after the Heat intentionally fouled him twice in the fourth quarter of New York’s 112-103 Game 5 win.

Robinson had shot 7 for 25 on free throws before Heat coach Erik Spoelstra decided to send him to the line.

“Foul that!” Robinson said aloud in the locker room on Wednesday night, according to New York media.

The Knicks’ 7-foot center had reason to celebrate.

“It felt great in that moment for them to believe in me,” Robinson said of the Madison Square Garden crowd.

The Heat first fouled Robinson with 5:17 left and Miami down six. He hit one of two.

The Heat fouled him again on New York’s subsequent possession and he hit both. Soon after, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau replaced Robinson with Isaiah Hartenstein before reinserting Robinson later.

Robinson played well Wednesday (8 points, 11 rebounds). During the series, Bam Adebayo has shot 16 for 31 when being defended by Robinson.


Spoelstra, on deciding to play Butler the entire second half of Game 5: “We had finally a little bit of momentum there at the end of the third quarter. I did have that inclination to maybe get him out at some point.

“But I think that fourth quarter was probably the best quarter of the game, both ways and I just wanted to see if we could take the lead and see if that momentum would change. But we were never able to do that.”

Knicks forward Julius Randle, who was poked in the eye by Adebayo when the two were jockeying for a rebound in the first quarter, called the incident “the price of war, I guess. First quarter, after that I couldn’t really see anything. But seeing the guys go out and compete the way they did energized me. I started to feel a little bit better after that.”

Randle closed with 24 points on 7-for-13 shooting.

Ryan Ruocco, JJ Redick and Richard Jefferson call Game 6 of Heat-Knicks on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.


Butler (ankle), Caleb Martin (back contusion) and Haywood Highsmith (knee) are listed as probable for Game 6. Tyler Herro (hand) and Victor Oladipo (knee) remain out.

The Knicks listed Immanuel Quickley (ankle) as doubtful; he missed the past two games.