Eastern Notes: Butler, Heat, Sixers, Wade, Hornets

Heat star Jimmy Butler is one of six Miami players listed as questionable for the team’s Game 1 against the Sixers on Monday, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. Butler missed Game 5 against the Hawks last week due to knee inflammation, but he still plans to play in Game 1.

Along with Butler, Tyler Herro (illness), Max Strus (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (calf), Caleb Martin (ankle) and Markieff Morris (illness) are also questionable. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry will miss his third straight game due to a hamstring strain.

On the flip side, the Sixers will be without Joel Embiid (mild concussion and orbital fracture). The teams will also meet in Miami for Game 2 on Wednesday before traveling to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Friday.

Here are some other notes from the East:

  • In his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag, Winderman examines whether Doc Rivers set the Sixers up for failure by keeping Embiid on the floor down the stretch of Game 6 against the Raptors last week. The Sixers were leading by 29 points with 3:58 remaining when Embiid was injured.
  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade has been cleared to return to on-court activities following his meniscus surgery, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com tweets. The Cavaliers lost to the Hawks in the play-in tournament last month, failing to make the playoffs despite a promising season.
  • The Hornets can’t afford to miss on their next move, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. The team is seeking another head coach after firing James Borrego. Boone examines what the club should look for in its next coach, noting that the Hornets are determined to make the playoffs next year.
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