Heat star Jimmy Butler is honored to represent his team in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, as Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. While co-star Bam Adebayo likely would’ve made the All-Star team if he stayed healthy, Butler is the lone representative this season for a Miami team tied for the Eastern Conference’s top spot.
“It’s an incredible blessing to be able to be on the court with all of these superstars and crazy talented players,” he said. “I think you’re just thankful that you get the opportunity to play basketball again because it’s not promised to anybody.
“[This weekend] is a lot, but I don’t complain about it. I think it’s an honor to be able to be an All-Star and go out there and compete with these guys.”
This is Butler’s sixth All-Star season and second in Miami. He’s currently averaging 21.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, shooting 48% from the floor and 90% from the charity stripe.
There’s more out of the Southeast Division tonight:
- Wizards forward Rui Hachimura scored 14 fourth-quarter points to defeat the Nets on Thursday, reminding the team of his upside, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Hachimura finished with 20 points in 27 minutes off the bench, shooting 8-of-15 from the floor. “Rui, he’s just got the joy back… I can see that smile again, I can see that laugh, I can see that joy,” teammate Ish Smith said. “Rui’s a special player. He’s been a special player the first two years I was here with him and now you guys are seeing him just continue to grow and get better.”
- The Heat‘s coaching staff are making the most of their All-Star opportunity, Anthony Chiang writes in a separate article for the Miami Herald. Head coach Erik Spoelstra and his assistants will coach Team Durant in the All-Star Game, something that’ll surely be a unique experience for all involved.
- Stephen Noh of Sporting News examines the new and improved Wendell Carter Jr. Carter, who signed a four-year rookie scale extension prior to the season, is in the midst of a career year with the Magic, averaging 14.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 29.4 minutes per contest. He’s in his second season with Orlando.