Is Jimmy Butler playing tonight against Boston Celtics? Latest on Miami Heat star's status (February 11)

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat
Is Jimmy Butler playing tonight against Boston Celtics? Latest on Miami Heat star's status (February 11)

In the much-anticipated rematch of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics at the Kaseya Center. Heat superstar Jimmy Butler is ruled out for personal reasons.

His status was earlier listed as questionable, and he was expected to be cleared to play the game. However, as of now, the Heat star will miss the game.

Butler played in the Heat's previous contest against the Western Conference’s lowest-ranked team, the San Antonio Spurs, which they won 116-104 at home on Wednesday.

Butler notched up his first triple-double of the season with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists with three steals and a block on 5-of-12 shooting in 34 minutes. He boasted a +16 net rating.

What happened to Jimmy Butler?

Jimmy Butler has been granted leave from the Heat for personal reasons, Shams Charania reported.

Butler missed four games from Dec. 20 to Dec. 28 due to a calf strain that kept him sidelined until he returned against the Utah Jazz on Dec. 30, only to twist his ankle while attempting to drive inside the paint.

Lauri Markkanen was guarding Butler when he appeared to jerk his ankle. Butler walked to the locker room alone, albeit limping.

He did not return, finishing with eight points, two rebounds and an assist in under 23 minutes.

Jimmy Butler stats vs. Boston Celtics

Jimmy Butler has played the Boston Celtics 33 times, with a 16-17 record (13-13 in the playoffs).

The Heat superstar has averaged 18.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists against the Celtics. His career high is 37 points in the regular season and 47 in the playoffs.

Butler has scored 40+ points twice against the formidable Celtics defense and has averaged 23.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in the playoffs.

His availability will be key for the Heat to win Sunday's matchup. Butler's two-way impact fuels the Heat's offense and defense. They are extremely versatile on defense under coach Erik Spoelstra, who occasionally switches to zone to throw off offenses.

Butler's anticipation and judgment help in transition after steals or blocks, allowing the Heat to push the pace. He can also put pressure by driving to the rim and drawing fouls.

How to watch Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat?

The game will be nationally televised on ABC with tipoff at 2 p.m. ET at the Kaseya Center in Miami.

It will also be available on Fubo TV and NBA League Pass, which gives viewers access to NBA TV with a free trial for a week.

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Edited by Bhargav