Will Jimmy Butler Play Tonight? Miami Heat vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Injury Updates, Lineup and Prediction

Published 01/04/2021, 4:30 PM EST
Jan 1, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Miami Heat guard Andre Iguodala (28) brings the ball up court against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Both the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t had a great start to their 2020-21 season. Miami Heat may be the reigning Eastern Conference champions, but they’ve only won two of their five games. OKC is in the same boat and is holding the 10th position in the West. For the first time this season, the Thunder is facing the Heat. Which team will come out as the winner?

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Miami Heat injury updates and lineup prediction

The Miami Heat have been struggling since their season opener against Orlando Magic. Their only loss came against the Dallas Mavericks as the Heat was no competition to the Luka Doncic’s career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds.

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They were a mess in the first two quarters. With only 31 points by halftime, missing 14 three-pointers until Duncan Robinson finally got one bucket, landed them on the losers end, finishing the game 10 points behind the Mavericks, 93-83.

Their inconsistency and trouble on the offensive end have them hanging on the bottom of the table. So far, Jimmy Butler isn’t back to his true form which means Bam Adebayo is the man they will have to turn to. He bagged 19 points, 11 rebounds and2 assists in 33 minutes and was vital in their run to the NBA Finals.

Dec 29, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) shoots over Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Only Gabe Vincent has been declared out because of a knee injury. With that, the predicted lineup would be Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and Andre Iguodala.

Oklahoma City Thunder injury updates and lineup prediction

The Thunder might have had a weak start to the season but on their last outing, they played one of their better games. They defeated the Orlando Magic 108-99. It was an abundance of young and talented players whose team effort led them to a win.

Six of their players finished in double digits with stellar performances by George Hill and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Their new members, Luguentz Dort and Darius Bazley, have shown great potential as contributors to the game. For a team that doesn’t rank very high offensively, they dropped 13 points from the arc and shot 44.2 per cent from the floor against Orlando.

Jan 2, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill (3) loses the ball against Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and guard Markelle Fultz (20) and forward Gary Clark (12) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

They will look to make the same team effort to crush Miami. With Ty Jerome and Aleksej Pokusevski ruled out, the predicted lineup would be Isiah Roby, George Hill, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Al-Horford, and Justin Jackson.

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Game prediction

Both teams need a W to improve their tally, and the favorites to win this matchup are clearly the Miami Heat. However, OKC looks like they’re in better form, so expect them to cover the spread instead.

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Yashima Bhatia

1478 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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