Jimmy Butler loves hamming it up on the basketball court, especially when the cameras are on him. So it was no surprise to see the Miami Heat star having fun at the expense of one of his newest teammates.
Butler was seen teasing Markieff Morris during Miami’s preseason finale on Friday, October 15 after an awkward breakaway opportunity for the veteran forward. Morris lumbered down the court and made the transition lay-up, then faced Butler’s hilarious wrath. He mimicked his slow gait and pointed at the replay screen as Morris and Kyle Lowry chuckled out loud.
It was all in good fun, a good bonding experience for the new teammates. Meanwhile, some on Twitter saw it as Butler mocking Lowry who sometimes gets ragged on for – well, let’s say for having a rotund caboose.
The Heat beat the Boston Celtics 121-100 to run their preseason record to 5-1. Butler scored 25 points in 25 minutes while Tyler Herro tallied a game-high 29 points.
Miami opens the regular season on Thursday, October 21 at home against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. The projected starting five paced the first unit once again: Butler, Lowry, Bam Adebayo, PJ Tucker, Duncan Robinson. The test runs are over.
“It felt great just to get out there and hoop as a whole, just to get out with my guys,” Butler said, via Ira Winderman. “Everybody’s starting to realize how real it gets now.”
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Heat Make Final Roster Cuts
The Heat waived four guys to trim the roster to 14 players ahead of the season opener. Micah Potter, Javonte Smart, Dru Smith and DJ Stewart we’re all shown the door.
No real shockers there. All four players are expected to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce, their NBA G League affiliate (per Ira Winderman). The moves allow the Heat to stay under the luxury tax threshold, a smart business decision as they can add players at a later date or made a deal for someone at the trade deadline. Meanwhile, those guys will get a chance to develop in the G League.
“It’s less difficult than it was 10 years ago. I don’t look at it like we’re cutting people. This is a transition,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said, via Sun-Sentinel. “This is what always was the plan. We’re going to continue to develop them. And, as we all know, our Sioux Falls program is really a direct pipeline for our player development.”
Remember, the Heat also have Caleb Martin and Marcus Garrett signed to two-way contracts so they can split their time between Miami and Sioux Falls.
Victor Oladipo Posts Motivational Message
Heat guard Victor Oladipo continues to rehab from season-ending surgery on his right quadriceps tendon, his second operation on it in 28 months.
The two-time All-Star sat out all six exhibition games and he’s targeting a return sometime in December. Best case scenario: late November. Oladipo recently posted a motivational message on Twitter, fueling hope he might get back sooner than expected.