The Miami Heat will be without their leading scorer and five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. According to Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes, Miami will be holding out Butler as he tends to an ankle sprain.
Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler (ankle sprain) will be held out of Wednesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 4, 2022
Butler suffered the ankle sprain during Monday’s 115-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors, though, most accounts suggest it won’t be a serious hindrance in the long-term. Heat head coach Erik Spolestra was quoted in saying that he was “fine,” but on the heels of a back-to-back, they will elect to rely on their reserves.
Prior to the injury, Butler was in the midst of one of his best years, regular season wise. In 2021-22, he’s averaging 23.2 points — the second-highest mark of his career — 5.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.0 blocks. He’s also hitting on 50.0 percent from the field and a career-high 87.1 percent from the free throw line (on 8.1 attempts).
The injury marks yet another blow for the Heat, who have also missed Bam Adebayo (thumb) and Dewayne Dedmon (knee), as well as Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent, and Max Strus. Yet, even so, the Heat have remained competitive, sitting at 23-15, the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Wednesday’s Blazers-Heat game tips off tomorrow at 7:00 pm PT, where the Blazers will be seeking a two-game winning streak to kickstart the new calendar year.