After a rocky start to the season, the Miami Heat have won eight of their last 11 games, including an active two-game win streak. Their latest two wins came over the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers, and the Heat are now up to 20-18 on the season, good for seventh place in the Western Conference.
Miami has been fighting injuries all season long. None of their players have appeared in all 38 of their games this year. Jimmy Butler, Gabe Vincent, and Victor Oladipo have all missed ten or more games. Butler, Miami’s superstar forward, recently provided an update on the injury he’s been dealing with all season.
“It is,” Butler said when asked if his knee was trending in the right direction. “Because I can go out there and compete. I can’t say that I’m fully healthy. But there are a lot of people that are not. So, I think that’s good on a lot of levels. The more rest that I have and able to get that recovery that I need is always going to be better. So, hell, whenever I’m not playing, I’m doing something to try to get it right.”
He also noted that the plan moving forward will be to continue treatment in an attempt to get him moving toward 100 percent.
“We just got to maintain this thing and take care of it,” Butler said. “I mean, it’s part of the game, but I want to be right, I want to be a hundred, so I can go out there and do what I’m supposed to do.”
When he has been on the court, Butler has been playing like an All-Star once again this year. The veteran star has only appeared in 24 of the team’s 38 games this season and is playing 34.8 minutes per contest. He’s averaging 21.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game on 52.1% shooting from the field and 32.7% shooting from behind the three-point arc.
Questions Cast on Heat’s Future
While the core of Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro has proven to be fully capable of competing for a championship, some people have questioned their future. They made a run to the Finals back in 2020 and were bested only by the Boston Celtics last year, losing in the Eastern Conference Finals.
That being said, sources who spoke to Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports have cast doubt on their future and, more specifically, on the contract that they handed Butler.
“The problem is, that extension they gave Butler [in 2020],” an Eastern Conference GM told Deveney. “You start there, and there is no way you’re going to move him. I love a lot about Jimmy’s game but he is 33 and he can’t shoot the 3, and he is on the books for three more years at almost $150 million. Try going to an owner saying, we’re going to be paying a 35-year-old $50 million.”
The executive also noted that there could come a time when the Heat want to blow up their roster.
“They could come to a point where they want to blow it up,” said the executive. “They are not there at this point, obviously, but you can imagine it.”
Heat Face Choice Between Jimmy Butler & Tyler Herro
Meanwhile, the Heat have a solid group put together right now. However, a fan asked Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel about who should be taking the final shots in games – Butler or Herro? Winderman said that both should get those chances depending on the situation.
“But it still comes down to what you need,” Winderman explained. “In transition, I would take Tyler Herro. For a 3-pointer, Tyler Herro again. But if one or two points would be the difference in a halfcourt set, then Jimmy Butler would remain a preferred option with his ability to get to the foul line, and, frankly, draw more of a veteran whistle. There is nothing wrong with having multiple such options for multiple such situations. And the best part with both Jimmy and Tyler is that each is willing to defer.”