All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler sat out the final quarter of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ season due to soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Butler exited Wednesday’s Game 5 loss to the Houston Rockets with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter and did not return.
Butler played the series with a sore right wrist, which the Timberwolves kept quiet after he injured it during his 31-point performance in the regular-season finale, a win over the Denver Nuggets that decided the Western Conference’s final playoff berth.
A league source said Butler wasn’t certain that he’d be able to play in Game 1 until his pregame shooting session a couple of hours before tipoff.
Butler, who averaged 15.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the series, twisted his left ankle during the Timberwolves’ Game 3 win. He refused to acknowledge that injury.
“It’s all mental,” Butler said after Game 3, in which he had 28 points. “At the end of the day, you tell your mind it doesn’t hurt, and it doesn’t hurt. You play through it.”
Peters is Calgary general manager Brad Treliving’s second head coaching hire after Gulutzan, and the fourth coach of the Flames in nine years after Gulutzan (2016-17) Bob Hartley (2012-16) and Brent Sutter (2009-12).
“I think it’s a very good team and I think it’s a team that’s set up to win and play the modern game,” Peters said.
“What I talk about the modern game, when you watch the playoffs, you need defense up in the rush, you need offense from your defense. We’re going to be able to do that with what we have.
“The majority of the core is still in their prime and still has room to grow and a higher ceiling to be reached. There’s lots to work with and that’s exciting.”
Calgary has finished outside the playoffs seven of the past nine years.
Peters was the head coach and Treliving one of the general managers of the Canadian team that won gold at the 2016 men’s world hockey championship in Russia.
Treliving had asked the Hurricanes for permission to speak to Peters last week about coming to Calgary. The GM said he didn’t talk to any other candidates.
“This is an individual I’m familiar with,” Treliving said. “I was focused on Bill. It’s based upon seeing and living it live with him over albeit a short period of time.
“He’s prepared. I think he’s a student of the modern game. I think he’s relationship driven with players. He’s honest and direct.”
Peters is coaching Canada again at the world championship May 4-20 in Copenhagen, Denmark.