The Miami Heat entered the NBA Play-In Tournament as the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. However, they lost to Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks at home, and now they need to win against the Chicago Bulls to make the playoffs. However, Heat star Jimmy Butler got an unfortunate update on Thursday, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
‘Jimmy Butler not at practice today due to personal reasons. The team said he is expected for Friday’s game.’
Jimmy Butler’s absence on Thursday is a big surprise, although Winderman reported that he is expected to go Friday. Still, we have to wonder what is going on with Butler and Heat fans might be anxiously awaiting a more precise update.
In the loss to the Hawks, Butler shot just 6-of-19 from the field, finishing with 21 points and nine assists. After the game, he opened up on his performance, and the Heat has no choice but to play better against the Bulls if they want to snag the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference.
The winner of the Bulls-Heat game moves on to face the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, and the loser sees their season end.
The Bulls stunned the Toronto Raptors on the road on Wednesday night, and Butler facing his former team is just one of several storylines heading into this contest. However, all eyes will be peeled for a final status update regarding Butler. If he does, in fact, miss the game, it would be a crushing blow to Miami.