Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat finished the NBA regular season as the top team in the East. They eliminated the 8th seed Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Additionally, they did so in 5 games and moved onto the second round. However, Jimmy Butler suffered a knee strain and did not play in the series-clinching game 5.
The Miami Heat now faces the 4th seed Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. This series will prove to be a challenge for the Heat, especially if they are without their star player
Jimmy Butler wants to play in game 1 vs the Philadelphia 76ers
Jimmy Butler has had a lingering knee injury. This has compromised his explosiveness and aggressiveness to some extent. However, the Miami Heat will have home-court advantage for games 1 and 2 as well as potential games 5 and 7. They will need to defend home court and win both games in order to control the flow of this series
Jimmy Butler won’t play in tonight’s game due to right knee inflammation https://t.co/Zjd8Cia4OS
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) April 26, 2022
Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable by the Miami Heat team for Game 1. However, he has revealed that he will play in game 1. The Philadelphia 76ers are his old team, one with whom he parted on seemingly bad terms. Therefore, this is a revenge matchup for Jimmy. One that he is not inclined to miss.
The Miami Heat have a deep roster with high-quality athletes, down to the last man on the bench. They also have experienced players from the league such as Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, and PJ Tucker. Both Lowry and Tucker have won championships in recent times. Therefore, the Miami Heat should not press Jimmy to return if he is not feeling healthy.
The Miami Heat have great hopes for a deep postseason run with another trip to the NBA Finals. They cannot afford to bring back their star player when he is not healthy and compromise him for the rest of the season. Therefore, they should thoroughly evaluate Butler and make sure he is fit to play before he gets back on the court.
If the Heat can fend off the 76ers without Jimmy, even for a few games. This means Butler will return by game 2 or 3 even healthier. Therefore, the Miami Heat staff and Jimmy need to be on the same page regarding his health and how he feels