Heat Notes: Butler, Jovic, Jaquez, Wright, Adebayo

As they look to bounce back after a Game 1 loss in Boston, the Heat can’t count on Jimmy Butler to return at some point later in the first round to give them a boost. While the team hasn’t provided any sort of official timetable on Butler’s recovery from an MCL sprain, Shams Charania of The Athletic said on FanDuel’s Run it Back show (Twitter video link) that the star swingman is going to remain on the shelf for a while.

“It’s crazy to me that Jimmy Butler played three quarters with what I’m hearing now was a severe MCL sprain,” Charania said. “He is not going to be back in this series. This is a rehab that’s go at least one month — could be two months of rehab.

“… Thankfully for him it wasn’t the ACL, it wasn’t a meniscus. But even if the Heat were to advance (beyond) this first round, somehow, his postseason availability is still very much up in the air.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Although Miami suffered a resounding loss in Game 1 on Sunday, there were at least a couple silver linings, as Anthony Chiang writes in a pair of stories for The Miami Herald. The team’s last two first-round picks – Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez – made the first playoff starts of their respective careers and ultimately held their own despite some shaky moments in the first quarter. Additionally, buyout market addition Delon Wright came up big off the bench, scoring 17 points and making all five of his three-point attempts. Wright figures to play a regular role in the series with Terry Rozier (neck) sidelined.
  • The odds are against the Heat repeating last spring’s success and making another deep playoff run, but even in the event of a first-round exit, the team should be well positioned for the offseason, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Appearing on NBA Countdown (YouTube link), Wojnarowski said he expects a lot of action on the trade market this summer and pointed out that Miami is almost among the preferred destinations for disgruntled stars. That didn’t do the Heat much good in the Damian Lillard talks last summer, but the team should have more leverage with trade targets who have fewer years left on their contracts, Woj adds.
  • William Guillory of The Athletic takes a look at how Bam Adebayo became Udonis Haslem‘s successor as a pillar of “Heat Culture” and how the big man plans to uphold that ethos for years to come.
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