Eastern Notes: Butler, Herro, Wizards, Brown

Heat star Jimmy Butler (knee inflammation) plans to play in Game 1 against the Sixers on Monday, as Nick Friedell of ESPN relays (Twitter link). Butler missed Miami’s final game against the Hawks last Tuesday and expressed confidence his knee will hold up.

Philadelphia will be without superstar center Joel Embiid (orbital fracture and mild concussion), however, which Butler says he and the rest of the Heat are disappointed about. Butler also said Embiid deserves to win the Most Valuable Player award this season.

“I think I speak for everybody that’s a part of this team, we want Jo to play,” he said. “We want to go up against them at full strength and prove that we can hang with anybody and we can beat anybody.”

As we wrote on Friday, Embiid doesn’t have a timetable for his return. The Sixers and Heat will play Game 2 on Wednesday, then travel to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Friday.

Here are some other notes from the East:

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel explores whether Tyler Herro‘s illness absence should raise concerns for the Heat. Herro didn’t practice on Saturday because of a cold, but he’s still expected to play in Game 1. The 22-year-old struggled during Miami’s first-round series against Atlanta, averaging 12.8 points on 39% shooting from the floor and 18% from deep.
  • The Wizards could greatly benefit from the Jazz blowing their roster up this offseason, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington examines. Utah lost its first-round series against Dallas 4-2 and could explore trading key pieces in the summer. Hughes believes Washington may express interest in a number of Jazz players, including Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley. The Wizards naturally want to build a competitive roster around Bradley Beal and keep him in town.
  • Celtics star Jaylen Brown told reporters that he should be “ready to roll” for the team’s Game 1 against the Bucks, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald tweets. Brown, who has been dealing with hamstring tightness, said he’s feeling good. Boston will open up the series at home on Sunday afternoon.
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