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Jimmy Butler Out With a Knee Injury For Miami Heat

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The NBA Playoffs have already provided many memorable moments. Unfortunately, injuries continue to cast an ugly shadow over what is always the most exciting part of the NBA season. In an unexpected development on Tuesday afternoon, the Miami Heat ruled Jimmy Butler out for tonight with a knee injury.

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Jimmy Butler Out With a Knee Injury Tonight

Jimmy Butler is easily the Heat's best player. He has already showcased as much during these NBA Playoffs. Butler willed Miami to a Game 2 win when he scored a whopping 45 points. He has since followed that performance up with consecutive double-doubles. A 36-point, 10-rebound effort in Game 4 powered the Heat to a 3-1 series lead. Even in the team's lone defeat of the postseason thus far, Butler made an impact. He fell just two assists shy of a triple-double line in Game 3.

Unfortunately, the top-seeded Heat will have to contest Game 5 with Jimmy Butler out with a knee injury. The team officially termed as "right knee inflammation".

Earlier on Tuesday, the Miami Heat made it official that starting point guard Kyle Lowry would not play in Game 5 of the team's NBA Playoffs series against the Atlanta Hawks tonight. While many were anticipating this news, few were prepared for the additional injury update that the team would announce only several hours before tip-off.

This Jimmy Butler injury revelation is both surprising and concerning, to say the least. Prior to being ruled out for Game 5, Butler was not even listed on the team's injury report. The sudden breaking news drastically alters the outlook of tonight's Hawks vs Heat matchup. Should Butler's knee injury linger beyond Game 5, perhaps even the outcome of this entire NBA Playoffs First Round series could be thrown into doubt.

Next Men Up for Miami Heat | Hawks vs Heat Game 5

With both Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry set to watch Tuesday's Hawks vs Heat Game 5 in street clothes, other players will be thrust into the spotlight for Miami. Given that the Heat hold a 3-1 lead in the series, tonight's home game is hardly a must-win. That being said, extra rest before the Eastern Conference Semifinals is certainly something that would benefit the Heat.

Bam Adebayo will be the de facto top player on the floor for the Heat tonight with Jimmy Butler out with a knee injury. After that, things get pretty dicey in terms of who can be counted on to step up. With Lowry also out, it seems safe to expect a healthy dose of Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, and Max Strus in the backcourt. Meanwhile, it will likely be a combination of Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin (listed as questionable) who replace the majority of Butler's minutes.

One potential wild card in the Miami Heat rotation tonight is Victor Oladipo. The 29-year-old made his series debut in Game 4 on Sunday. It was a brutal shooting performance for Oladipo. However, he still provided an impact with eight rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes of action. Could Oladipo emerge as the X-factor and help the Heat finish off the Hawks in Game 5 tonight?

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