Jimmy Butler To Return For Game 3

MAY 6: Butler will be available for Game 3, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

MAY 5: The Heat have yet to offer an official update on Jimmy Butler‘s status for Game 3 vs. the Knicks, but the star forward is planning to play on Saturday, a source tells Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).

Head coach Erik Spoelstra has continually deflected questions about Butler, who missed Game 2 due to a sprained right ankle and seems likely to be listed as questionable for Game 3. Spoelstra told reporters today that there likely won’t be a definitive update on the injured swingman until close to game time on Saturday.

However, like Winderman, Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald have also heard that there’s optimism about Butler’s chances to play tomorrow.

Obviously, getting Butler back in the lineup would significantly improve the Heat’s odds of defeating the Knicks and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. The 33-year-old averaged an eye-popping 37.6 points per game on .597/.444/.708 shooting during Miami’s first-round upset of the Bucks and was the team’s leading scorer in its Game 1 win over New York, racking up 25 points and 11 rebounds in 43 minutes.

With Butler’s status still up in the air, the Knicks have been preparing for both scenarios – the six-time All-Star being available or out – leading up to Game 3.

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