There is a lot of news surrounding the Miami Heat organization at the moment dealing with injuries as Jimmy Butler will be out “several weeks” with an MCL sprain along with Terry Rozier and his neck issues, which leaves star Duncan Robinson. He missed the last four games of the season with a back injury and was made available Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers, but did not play a single second as Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra explains the reasoning for the decision.

One would assume that Robinson is still not at 100 percent as his last game was played on April 7 against the Indiana Pacers with his injury specifically labeled as “left facet syndrome.” Spoelstra said after the Heat lost to the 76ers in the play-in game, 105-104, that Robinson did not “have a whole lot of time for ramp up” according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

“Every day that he gets, he’s going to make progress and that’s really what it was,” Spoelstra said. “We don’t have a whole lot of time for ramp up, so he hasn’t had those opportunities. But we’ll see how he feels when we get to Miami. I think each step, he’ll feel better and we’ll take it from there.

In terms of if he will play Friday against the Chicago Bulls in the Heat's last chance to make the playoffs is still up in the air even though he is “probable.” Depending on how his body responds, he could be available like Wednesday, but will Spoelstra play him is the question as even he said “these are tough decisions,” though he is “making progress.”

“These are tough decisions. I can’t answer that right now,” Spoelstra said. “But he’s definitely making progress. That’s what’s encouraging.”

Heat without Butler and Rozier, plus a limited Robinson

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dribbles the ball past Philadelphia 76ers guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the second quarter of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the absences of Butler, Rozier, and a limited Robinson, there is no doubt that Heat star Tyler Herro will be crucial on offense Friday. Even he said that in the past couple of years the Heat have had to overcome injuries, which is what “brings us closer.”

“That’s been our story, our DNA for the last couple years,” Herro said. “There’s always been something that we’re dealing with as a team. It’s going to bring us closer and we’ll try to get ready for Friday no matter who’s available. Obviously, we’re hoping everything is OK with JB. We need him.”

While there's a chance fans saw Butler play his last game of the season Friday, he believes that Miami will “be alright” for the immediate future. Like Herro, he said that the team “should be used to” select players missing games and implies there is no excuses with the season on the line.

“We’ll be alright,” Butler said. “It hasn’t been easy for us all year long. We’ve been playing with guys nicked up all year long, so we should be used to it by now. This is a must-win or our season is over.”

It feels like deja vu from last season where the Heat have to beat the Bulls in the second play-in game to lock the eighth seed. If they win, they face the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.