Injury Clouds Over Miami: Jimmy Butler’s Status Uncertain for Warriors Matchup

Injury Clouds Over Miami: Jimmy Butler’s Status Uncertain for Warriors Matchup
Injury Clouds Over Miami: Jimmy Butler’s Status Uncertain for Warriors Matchup

Butler has missed the last three games due to a left calf strain.

As the Miami Heat enter a brutal five-game roadtrip, they are hoping to have star Jimmy Butler to start against the Golden State Warriors for Thursday’s game. Butler has missed the last three games due to a left calf strain suffered on Dec. 18 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he is now listed as “questionable” for Thursday’s contest on the NBA’s official injury report.

Arguably the driving force of the Heat, Butler did make some progress Wednesday as he was a partial participant in practice per what a Heat spokesperson told ClutchPoints. In the past three games without Butler, rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. has been the main benefactor being inserted into the starting lineup.

He was already having an impressive first-year, but he’s taken the opportunity and ran with it as it was on display on Christmas Day where he scored 31 points and collected 10 rebounds in Miami’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers. If Butler were to play, Jaquez would likely go back to the bench and thrive in the second unit.

The Heat need all the firepower they can get as they face a Warriors team that contains the likes of lights-out shooters in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Despite Golden State underachieving to start the season at 15-15 which puts them at 10th in the Western Conference, they can still be dangerous as they just recently had a five-game winning streak.

Other “questionable” players for the Heat

Another Heat player that is listed as “questionable” is starting point guard Kyle Lowry who is said to be dealing with “soreness.” He also missed the aforementioned Timberwolves game with the same issue. The 37-year old has been working with heavy minutes with how light the position is for the Heat.

A new addition to the injury report is Miami’s dynamic three-point shooter Duncan Robinson who is suffering from a left ankle sprain. He is listed as “questionable” which might make it seem that the injury is not particularly serious as ankle sprains are usually damning for basketball players.

“Doubtful” players for Miami

There are two Heat players that are listed as “doubtful” as one of them is guard Josh Richardson. In his second tenure, it has been a tumultuous start as he’s missed the last several game due to nagging back spasms, but ClutchPoints was told that the injury changed to lower back discomfort. Richardson was a partial participant in Wednesday’s practice.

The other player who is doubtful for the contest against the Warriors is Caleb Martin with a right ankle sprain. Martin has also been dealing with ankle injuries since the preseason, but sustained the current injury in the Heat’s last game against the Sixers. He didn’t practice Wednesday.

Spoelstra’s view on the Warriors

Fans of the team will know more about the statuses of their favorite players most likely tomorrow before the Heat face the Warriors. Spoelstra spoke after practice and compared Golden State to Miami in how each of the teams have started this season.

“Their style of play still is there, it’s evident. I think the whole league is trying to figure this out right now, and that’s why you just can’t pay attention to what everybody’s saying on the outside. It’s not like they’re a bunch of teams playing consistent basketball, there are a handful. And then basically everybody else is trying to figure it out,” Spoelstra said. “And Golden State like us has had some really good moments where they’ve looked like a bit of who they’ve been, and they’ve had some moments where they’re trying to figure it out. We feel like we’re in a similar area. They still play an incredibly unique style. That’s just a great environment to play there. I think it’s a good way to kick off this road trip because you’re going to have to play good consistent basketball.”

Miami is 18-12 on the season which puts them at fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Heat will play Golden State at the Chase Center at 10:00 p.m. (EST).

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