How Will the Injury to Jimmy Butler Affect Miami Heat?

Published 12/26/2020, 5:00 PM EST
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) reacts after scoring against the Indiana Pacers during the second half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler suffered an injury during Miami Heat’s Christmas day win against the New Orleans Pelicans. It did not look like a serious one, considering that he only exited the game at half-time. Nevertheless, he did not take to the court from the 3rd quarter.


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#NOPvsMIA INJURY UPDATE: Jimmy Butler (right ankle stiffness) will not return to today's game vs the Pelicans.

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 25, 2020


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This has rendered him as a doubt for their crunch clash against the Milwaukee Bucks. It will be a spicy affair as the Buck will be looking to avenge their Playoff defeat last season. So how is it going to affect Miami in a double-header against the Bucks?

Miami Heat will be down on floor spacing and mid-range shooting

Jimmy’s greatest asset as a small forward is that he can take over a game and control the scoring. This is while maintaining high output on rebounding in assisting. And also contributing significantly at the defensive end of the floor too.

This peaked in the NBA Finals against the LA Lakers. Further highlighting his importance in big matches and crucial moments. So, the Heat will face their fair share of challenges against the Giannis Antetokounmpo led Bucks.

So who can come in for Jimmy Butler?

Goran Dragic 

The ‘Dragon’ produced a sensational display of his abilities against the Pelicans. He averaged 18 points and 9 assists in just 27 minutes of play.

Dragic is mostly confined to a bench role this season. However, he can come in at point guard position with either Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson moving to the frontcourt.

Look… #TheDragon is BACK 🐲 and he sure is fun to watch

🔥🎥 #HEATHighlights

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 26, 2020

Andre Iguodala

The man, the myth, the legend. The 36-year-old veteran has been to 6 consecutive NBA Finals, winning the 2015 NBA Finals MVP along the way.

So, his wealth of experience is invaluable to the team. And he was the man who Erik Spoelstra entrusted to replace Jimmy at half-time when he went down. There’s no reason why he can’t do that again on Tuesday.


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But can Butler shake off the injury and return?

Heat only listed the former Chicago Bulls forward as questionable and not definitely out for the encounter. It was an aggravation of the original ankle sprain he suffered against the Orlando Magic.

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler looking for a pass while being guarded by Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo during the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

But Heat wouldn’t want to inflame his ankle any further. Rest on Tuesday and then a return for the 2nd leg will be the best option.


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Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.