Jimmy Butler pops up on Miami Heat’s injury report ahead of matchup with New York Knicks

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Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report for Friday night’s game against the New York Knicks.

The Heat are already down four players in the game, as Kyle Lowry, Jamal Cain, Nikola Jovic and Omer Yurtseven remain out. Butler is dealing with right knee soreness.

Butler missed time earlier this season with a knee injury, and the Heat certainly hope that he will be able to play in a crucial game against New York on Friday.

The Knicks have won seven straight games, building a solid lead over the Heat in the Eastern Conference standings. Miami is currently in the No. 7 spot and is 3.5 games back of New York for the No. 5 seed. Last season, the Heat finished with the top spot in the conference.

The No. 6 seed, and avoiding the play-in tournament, is also still in play for Miami, as it is just 1.5 games back of the Brooklyn Nets. However, a loss to the Knicks would put the Heat at 0-2 against them in the season series.

A six-time All-Star, Butler has been crucial to Miami’s success this season. The star wing is averaging 21.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The Heat have struggled on offense this season, ranking 26th in the NBA in offensive rating. Losing Butler would certainly be a hit to the team’s success on that end of the floor on Friday.

The Knicks beat the Heat at Madison Square Garden earlier this season by two points. Butler didn’t have the best game in that matchup, scoring 10 points and adding four rebounds and five assists.

If the Heat star is unable to go on Friday, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo will be called upon to carry the scoring load on offense. Forward Caleb Martin and guard Victor Oladipo both could have expanded offensive roles as well if Butler doesn’t play.

The Knicks and Heat are scheduled to tip off in Miami at 8 p.m. EST on Friday night. This is the first of three remaining matchups between the teams this season.

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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.