Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler Cleared For Friday's Game Against Orlando Magic

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler's absence will be a short one. After sitting out Wednesday's 98-95 win over the Boston Celtics with lower back tightness, Butler has declared himself good to go for Friday night's showdown with the Orlando Magic.

Butler leads the Heat in scoring with 21.6 points per game this season, but last night marked his 14th missed game. He remains on pace for arguably his best season with the Heat: his field goal percentage (.516), true shooting percentage (.624), and points per game (21.6) are all his best marks since joining the team in 2019.

The Heat are 27-22 and sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, but they'll need to be careful over the back half of the season to avoid falling into the dreaded play-in tournament. Butler had appeared in 11 straight games before last night's absence, so it's possible he was simply due for a rest. So long as his back injury doesn't result in any lingering effects, the Heat should be just fine.

Following Friday's game against the Magic, the Heat embark on a four-game road trip, starting with a trip to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Sunday.

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