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

Published 02/22/2021, 3:00 PM EST
Jan 4, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) is defended by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports


It will be a battle between East vs West at Oklahoma City on Monday. Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Miami Heat in their 31st regular-season game of the 2020-21 NBA season, the first against Miami.

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Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena

Time: 9:00 PM ET (February 22, 2021)

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Here’s a glimpse at how both teams have been performing recently. Both OKC and the Heat have lost 3 of their last 5 games and badly need a win heading into this fixture. But how do they line up ahead of his clash? 

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Miami Heat: Preview and Lineups

Thunder

OKC became a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led team ever since Chris Paul moved to the Phoenix Suns. 22-year-old Gilgeous-Alexander has been doing everything in his power to keep the wins coming for Oklahoma, but they’re currently just 2 spots away from being the last ranked team in the Western Conference. 

Feb 10, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) controls the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5) during the overtime period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The franchise has been lacking the firepower to compete with the big guns, despite having a few experienced players. Guys like Al Horford and Luguentz Dort need to step up on the offensive end, although the latter has been solid with his defense. 

OKC isn’t troubled too much by any new injuries. However, they’ll still be without veterans Trevor Ariza and George Hill who were sidelined with injuries early in February. 

Possible Lineup

Theo Maledon (G)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (G) 

Luguentz Dort (F) 

Darius Bazley (F) 

Al Horford (C) 

Heat

The Miami Heat are currently on a road trip streak where they are taking on Western Conference teams in successive fashion. The game against OKC will be their 7th straight road fixture and Miami has won 3 of its previous 6. 

The Heat look rejuvenated after a couple of inspiring performances from Jimmy Butler. That’s what they require to keep them going, along with the likes of Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn chipping in during crucial moments. 

Dec 29, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) attempts a three point shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

As for their injury list, the Heat have quite a few players who are sidelined. This has been their biggest worry this season, with Goran Dragic falling the latest victim to it. Moreover, Tyler Herro (knee) and Gabe Vincent (hip) are also questionable for the OKC game. 

Possible Lineup

Kendrick Nunn (G) 

Duncan Robinson (G)

Jimmy Butler (F)

Kelly Olynyk (F)

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Bam Adebayo (C)

Prediction

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The Miami Heat are undeniable favorites to win this game despite their growing injury list. Jimmy Butler looks back in good touch, and Bam Adebayo has just been a monster on either end of the court. 

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These two are the game changers for Miami, and Erik Spoelstra would hope they deliver in Oklahoma City as well. Based on the recent run of form, we’re predicting that the Miami Heat will get the win over Oklahoma City Thunder

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Arjun Athreya

2143 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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