Heat Get Brutal Injury News Ahead of Crucial Matchup with Raptors

Jimmy Butler sits with his Miami Heat teammates on the bench.

Getty Jimmy Butler sits with his Miami Heat teammates on the bench.

The Miami Heat were dealt some brutal injury news ahead of their crucial matchup with the Toronto Raptors. On Tuesday morning, star forward Jimmy Butler was listed on the team’s injury report as probable to play. But, as the day went on he was continuously downgraded, first to questionable, then later to out.

According to the team, Butler was dealing with neck soreness ahead of the meeting with the Raptors.

The 33-year-old has missed 15 of the Heat’s games this season so far. In his absence, they’ve won just over half, taking home eight victories without their star forward.

Miami’s tough injury break certainly could’ve come at a better time. With just seven regular season games remaining, the team is in a tight battle with the Brooklyn Nets for the Eastern Conference‘s final automatic playoff berth.

The two teams are currently tied for that sixth seed, each holding a 40-35 record. Unfortunately for the Heat, the Nets have the advantage as they hold the tiebreaker over them.

Butler has appeared in 60 games for Miami this year, playing about 33.4 minutes each time. He averages 22.8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, while shooting 53% from the field and 35.1% from beyond the arc.

Kyle Lowry Cites ‘Strong-Will’ in Return to Heat Lineup

With Butler out, the Heat are going to need all the help they can get against the Raptors Tuesday. Luckily for the, they’ve got a certain someone on their team making a homecoming in Toronto.

Heat guard Kyle Lowry will undoubtedly be fired up and ready to play against his former team.

Lowry has missed a good chunk of time this season due to various nagging injuries. But, he’s been comfortable during the six games he’s played since his return.

He explained that his strong will has helped him get back up to speed.

“Strong willing has kind of gotten me into the situation I’ve been in right now,” Lowry said via the Sun Sentinel. “So I’ve got to be smart about this one and with the organization. I think we’ve been on a great page and we’ve been on the same page with everything I’ve been doing, coming off the bench, the minutes and the timing and everything, and just kind of making sure I’m available, and being able to be me when I’m in the game.”

In the six games since his return, the 2019 NBA champion has averaged 8.8 points, 3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, while shooting 56.3% from the field and 57.1% from deep.

Teams Wanted Heat to Attack First-Rounder to Kyle Lowry in Trade

There was a ton of speculation that the Heat would move on from Lowry’s lucrative contract ahead of this season’s trade deadline. However, the date came and went and No. 7 was still a member of Miami’s squad.

The reasoning for that may be that no team was willing to deal for him or Duncan Robinson without a first-round pick being attached, according to The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

“According to a source, other teams wanted Miami to attach a future first-round pick to any of those contracts, and the Heat declined,” Jackson wrote.

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