Heat fan since 2001
There was no more coach-speak about Caron Butler's positive impact numbers when he was on the floor or the Heat's misleading record with him as a starter.
Coach Stan Van Gundy has stopped blaming himself for bringing back the struggling second-year forward too soon after preseason knee surgery. Van Gundy has gone from coddling Butler to benching him.
"It's not a health issue. He just played poorly," was Van Gundy's terse assessment following Butler's two-point, two-rebound, 26-minute outing in front of his hometown Bucks fans on Friday.
Full ArticleOn Saturday, without any forewarning in his pregame media session, a growingly impatient Van Gundy benched the 6-foot-7 Butler and inserted last year's starting power forward, 6-10 Malik Allen, into the starting lineup for the first time this season against the taller Timberwolves.
"I thought we needed more size against them, plus the fact we only had five perimeter players going into the game, I didn't want to start four of them and have no bench to go to," Van Gundy said, referring to the absence of injured point guards Dwyane Wade and Bimbo Coles.