Negative Jimmy Butler update headlines latest round of Miami Heat news

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Just one day after getting back Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo from injuries, the Miami Heat got the news that they won’t have Jimmy Butler for their next game because of a calf injury.

Miami also could be without Kevin Love because of an illness but is expected to have Kyle Lowry available when it plays at the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

Butler was injured in a 112-108 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday that marked the returns of Herro and Adebayo. It was the first time the Heat’s top three players were in the same game in more than a month, since Herro injured his ankle in the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 8.

The 23-year-old missed 18 games, and the 26-year-old Adebayo sat out seven games with a bruised hip. The pair combined for 47 points on Monday when the Heat blew a large lead in losing to the Timberwolves, who are tied for the best record in the NBA. Lowry didn’t play because of soreness.

Butler has missed four of Miami’s 27 games this season. The 33-year-old is averaging 21.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists, all slightly lower than his marks from the 2022-23 campaign. However, his minutes per game are slightly up, in part because of the injury issues the Heat have faced.

Miami has used 17 players so far this season, and 13 different players have appeared in the starting lineup. Despite that, NBA observer Bill Simmons recently said the Heat are “the alpha” in the Eastern Conference.

However, the Heat have lost two of their past three games and are seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 15-12 record. They have lost seven games this season that they have led by at least 10 points and led the Timberwolves by 17 on Monday.

That could be a glaring signal that they need to improve, and one NBA executive speculated that they could have interest in Gordon Hayward of the Charlotte Hornets as a trade target.

The Heat also have to be hoping that Butler is not sidelined for a significant amount of time as they try to remain among the NBA title contenders.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.