After missing Miami’s last seven games with a knee injury, Heat forward Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable to play Friday on the road versus the Boston Celtics. This would be Butler’s first game versus Boston since the two teams last matched up in a semifinal match with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line. What a crazy seven games that was!
Butler averaged 25.6 points per game in that series while shooting 47 percent from the field. Butler was clearly on a whole other level in that series, including a 47-point Game 6 performance in TD Garden to force a Game 7 back in Miami.
The Heat and Celtics have matched up in the playoffs twice in the past two years, with Miami getting the best of Boston in 2019-2020 and Boston beating the Heat last year.
So far this year, the Heat (10-12) haven’t looked like themselves, as they currently sit in 11th place in the East. On the flip side, you look at the Boston Celtics, which seem to be clicking on all cylinders. They sit in first place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 18-4 and are winners of their last five straight games.
The two teams recently played an exhibition together this past Wednesday, but the undermanned Heat was no match for the healthy Celtics and ended up losing 134-121. Celtics star Jayson Tatum went off for a season-high 49 points as well.
Butler took to his Instagram story yesterday with a little hype-up video giving Heat fans hope and Celtics fans flashbacks to last year, saying he is “on the way.” Hopefully, Butler’s return helps to change the course of this Heat team’s record and shifts the momentum to a positive one going into the All-Star break.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Heat can start the month of December off strong.