Southeast Notes: Butler, Lowry, McDaniels, Oubre

A consultation with a Los Angeles doctor over the weekend resulted in good news on the state of Heat All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler‘s sore right knee, reports Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Butler sat out Miami’s narrow 126-123 victory over the Jazz last night but has been cleared to play in back-to-backs going forward, a source tells Chiang.

In 23 games this year, Butler is averaging 21.8 PPG on .528/.340/.829 shooting splits. He’s also chipping in 6.7 RPG, 5.8 APG and 2.1 SPG for the 19-18 Heat.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • $28.3MM Heat starting point guard Kyle Lowry may need to step up his game or risk being rotated out of the team’s closing lineups for good, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida South Sentinel. The 36-year-old was recently sat for the entirety of the fourth quarter in the Utah win, after experiencing consecutive down nights in back-to-back games against the Nuggets and Jazz.
  • Fourth-year Hornets reserve small forward Jalen McDaniels recently spoke with Alex Kennedy of Basketball News about his long road to major rotation time. “Playing in the G League [for much of his rookie season], it just got me real confident — just letting me play through my mistakes and play a lot of minutes,” McDaniels said. “I learned a lot of the game, coming from the G League, playing in a lot of games and just knowing what to expect. I feel like my game is just locked in and I know where I’m supposed to be.” This season, McDaniels is averaging a career-most 10.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.2 APG and 1.0 SPG in 25.9 MPG.
  • Starting Hornets small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will be sidelined for at least a few games as he grapples with a sprained left hand, reports Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “He’s working, doing as much as he can now to try and get back,” head coach Steve Clifford said. “Hopefully we’ll know more in the next couple of days. The hand is funny, it just got banged a bunch of times, and this was twice in a short period of time. It was really sore. You could see he was struggling to catch the ball. He definitely needs time for sure.”
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