The Miami Heat will take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night in an In-Season Tournament game. But the Heat will have to face off against the Bucks without arguably their best player, star wing Jimmy Butler.
Butler has been ruled out for the matchup due to an ankle injury.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 28, 2023
The matchup against the Bucks marks the second consecutive game that Butler will sit out for the Heat. He missed the team’s most recent game against the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 25 and also didn’t play against the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 11. He missed the Hawks game for personal reasons.
The Bucks and Heat own two of the better records of any team in the Eastern Conference so far this season. The Bucks are 12-5, which is tied with the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers for the second-best record in the conference. Meanwhile, the Heat are 10-7, which is the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
While the Heat’s record indicates that they are off to a solid start to the season, they haven’t been playing their best basketball of late, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve lost their last two games.
First, the Heat lost an In-Season Tournament matchup against the New York Knicks by two points on Nov. 24. Heading into the fourth quarter of that game, the Heat led by 16 points but proceeded to get outscored 29-11 across the final 12 minutes.
More recently, Miami lost to the Nets by 15 points on Nov. 25. The Nets outscored the Heat in every single one of the four quarters, and Mikal Bridges finished with a team-high 24 points for Brooklyn.
Considering the Heat haven’t been playing great basketball lately along with Butler’s injury, Miami is in serious jeopardy of losing its third straight game on Tuesday night, even though the team will be taking on Milwaukee at home.
The Heat might not have enough offensive firepower to beat a team with Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard without Butler in the lineup.