Report: Jimmy Butler won’t make Miami Heat return until after All-Star break'
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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler reportedly won’t return until after the All-Star break following a death in his family.

The Heat will also be without Josh Richardson and Terry Rozier for their upcoming trip.

“Along with missing Richardson and Rozier for the upcoming trip, the Heat will also be without star Jimmy Butler for the next two games,” wrote the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. “Butler missed Sunday’s loss to the [Boston] Celtics and is away from the team following a death in his family, and his return won’t come until after the All-Star break.”

Richardson and Rozier were both banged up against Boston, brutal blows for the Heat with Butler already sidelined for that game. Miami came up short, losing its third game this season to Boston.

The Heat have played 16 games already this season with Butler, going 9-7 in those matchups. It’s impressive that the team has been able to maintain a record of over .500 even without the six-time All-Star in the lineup.

This season, Butler has been limited to 37 games mainly due to injuries, but he’s made an impact when he’s been on the court. The Heat star is averaging 21.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 44.0 percent from 3-point range.

It won’t be easy to replace his offensive production, especially with one of the team’s better scorers in Rozier also sidelined.

Miami has two games ahead of the All-Star break, as the team will take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night in Milwaukee before traveling to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Feb. 14 in Philly.

Those are two tough road games to not have Butler active for, but the Heat will get the benefit of facing Philly without Joel Embiid, who is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery on his knee.

With Butler, Rozier and Richardson all out, Miami is going to need to lean on guard Tyler Herro to pick up some of the slack on offense.

A former Sixth Man of the Year award winner, Herro is averaging 21.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from beyond the arc. He and Bam Adebayo will likely be the focal points on Miami’s attack.

Miami’s first game out of the All-Star break will come on Feb. 23 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Hopefully, Butler is able to return to action then.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.