Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler hasn’t been able to catch a break health-wise this season.
He has already missed 10 of the team’s first 28 games in the 2022-23 campaign. He apparently is already set to miss another game later in December. Miami has a back-to-back set in late December against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.
The Heat’s plan for Jimmy Butler is to also miss one of the games on the lone remaining back-to-back this month. But the hope is this won’t continue after this month. Heat actually has no back-to-backs in January.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) December 14, 2022
The team has announced that Butler will be sitting out the matchup against the Thunder. So, the six-time All-Star might be making a return to the court when Miami visits the Rockets on Thursday.
#MIAvsOKC INJURY UPDATE: Jimmy Butler (knee), Gabe Vincent (knee) & Nikola Jovic (G-League assignment) have all been ruled out of tonight's game vs the Thunder.
While the organization likely wants Butler to suit up in as many games as possible, it may have little choice about the matter, given his age and health issues this season. Miami also rested the forward during the second game of a back-to-back earlier this month.
The Heat have needed their leader, as they have lost six of their 10 games without Butler. When he plays, the franchise is a more respectable 9-9.
Miami has also been better when the 6-foot-7 wing is on the court. It has an offensive rating of 118.0 when he is on the floor and 104.7 when he is on the bench. Clearly, the team has better chances of winning with Butler playing.
Entering the season, there were huge expectations for the proud franchise. The Heat were coming off a run to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics. They had a few chances to snatch Game 7 from Boston, but Butler couldn’t convert a 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter.
Miami decided to run it back after retaining most of its core players in the past offseason. However, wins have been difficult to come by for various reasons, including the injury bug and a struggling offense.
Only time will tell if the Heat can recover and eventually make a leap in the Eastern Conference standings. Their upcoming stretch of games will provide the team a good opportunity to gain some momentum as its next three contests will be against the worst squads in the Western Conference.