Jimmy Butler missed the Miami Heat’s win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday to deal with a family matter.
For the same reason, his availability for the Heat’s Sunday matchup against the San Antonio Spurs had been up in the air. But Miami has received some good news, as the star wing is available to suit up, per the team
The Heat performed well despite the absence of their leader, defeating Atlanta on the road to extend their winning streak to four. Bam Adebayo led the way for the squad, filling the stat sheet with 26 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. He also got plenty of help from his teammates, particularly rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., who scored a career-high 20 points.
With the victory, Miami has seemingly turned things around after starting the 2023-24 campaign with a 1-4 record. Now, the reigning Eastern Conference champions have climbed in the standings and are tied for fourth place with the Hawks, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks.
The Heat appear to have a winnable game ahead of them, as San Antonio is reeling at the moment. The Spurs have lost their past four contests while allowing their opponents to record an average of 129.5 points per game during that stretch.
Still, Miami isn’t likely to take its next foe lightly, especially since it features one of the best coaches of all time in Gregg Popovich and rookie wonder Victor Wembanyama.
The Frenchman is currently posting 19.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from deep. It’s worth noting that he has been playing better at home than on the road. Considering that the Sunday battle will take place at Frost Bank Center, the Heat will have to ramp up their defense against Wembanyama and the rest of the Spurs.
Having Butler back will certainly help the Heat’s chances of grabbing a win, even more so because the squad will be without one of its leading scorers, Tyler Herro, in addition to Caleb Martin.