Report: Jimmy Butler expected to return in time for both Heat-Celtics games next week

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The Miami Heat have been severely undermanned, and losing, in recent games, but they are expecting to get alpha dog Jimmy Butler back next week.

According to a Friday report, Butler is eyeing the Heat’s upcoming games against the Celtics for his return from a knee injury. The Heat will take on the Celtics on Wednesday and Friday next week, and it sounds like Butler is expected to play in both games.

“With Jimmy Butler missing his fifth consecutive game due to soreness in his right knee Friday against the visiting Washington Wizards, the expectation is that he will be back in time for the Miami Heat’s two games next week against the Boston Celtics,” Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reported.

Prior to Miami’s Wednesday win over the Wizards, the team had lost four straight games. The Heat are currently 8-11 on the season, good for the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference. It is absolutely not the start that Butler and the rest of the Heat roster planned to have after finishing last season just one win short of a trip to the 2022 NBA Finals.

Perhaps the good news for the Heat right now is that the 2022-23 campaign is still relatively young. Butler’s return and an ensuing string of wins for the team could easily get it right back into the thick of the playoff chase in the East. Miami is just 2.5 games back of the No. 6 seed.

Still, even if wins were to come in the upcoming slate of games, that likely would not convince analysts and fans around the league that the Heat are ready to compete for an NBA title. At the moment, there are too many question marks at key spots in the rotation for the Heat to look like a future champion.

However, that does not mean that those holes can’t be filled. If the Heat are serious about making a run in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, fans can expect them to be buyers in the trade market prior to the deadline in February.

In the meantime, the Heat will surely hope that getting closer to full health will help them win some games. The Heat just got guard Tyler Herro back after an eight-game absence due to injury. He logged 29 minutes and 17 points in the win over the Wizards.

On the season, Butler is averaging 20.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.1 points per game. The Heat will surely be happy to get that kind of production back next week.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.