Why is Jimmy Butler not playing tonight against Boston Celtics? Latest on Heat star's absence for Game 3 (April 27)

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers
Why is Jimmy Butler not playing tonight against Boston Celtics?

Jimmy Butler is not playing in Game 3 between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics at Kaseya Center. The Heat star continues his time on the sidelines for the fourth straight game. Butler injured his right knee during the Heat's play-in tournament 105-104 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Apr. 17.

Butler injured himself in the first quarter after Kelly Oubre Jr. landed on his knee. While the Heat forward played the entire game, he was subsequently ruled out for multiple weeks after he was diagnosed with an MCL sprain.

Butler missed the Heat's elimination play-in tournament game on Apr. 19 against the Chicago Bulls and the following two games of the Heat's first-round series against the Celtics.


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Heat steal homecourt in Game 2 in Jimmy Butler's absence

The Miami Heat's first-round series against the #1 seeded Boston Celtics began as expected, with Jayson Tatum and Co. bagging a 114-94 win in Game 1. However, the Heat pulled off the unthinkable in Game 2 after stealing homecourt advantage with a 111-101 win.

Nobody gave the Heat a legitimate chance of avoiding a series sweep without Jimmy Butler, but Erik Spoelstra's masterclass and a hot shooting night changed things for Miami. The Heat shot a franchise-high 23 3-pointers in a playoff game while limiting Boston to 12-of-32 shooting from deep.

The shooting doesn't seem sustainable, but the Heat's tweaked plan defensively had the Celtics offense in trouble. Miami neutralized key players like Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, as the two combined for only 15 points on 5-of-21 shooting.

Meanwhile, they did a decent job of containing Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, making them work hard for their production as the former tallied 28, while Brown had 33 points.

Tyler Herro's offensive burst with 24 points and 14 assists (playoff career-high) proved crucial for the Heat, along with Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin's 21-point nights each.

Miami will hope that it can sustain most of its offense as that holds the key to its success without Jimmy Butler.


How to watch Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Game 3?

TNT will broadcast the Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Game 3. Meanwhile, NBC Sports Boston and Bally Sports Sun will provide local coverage. NBA League Pass will provide an online streaming option for fans outside the US. Tipoff is at 6:00 p.m. ET.

The Celtics remain favorites to win Game 3 despite Game 2's shock defeat in Jimmy Butler's absence. Their talent and consistency remain unparalleled, and it won't be surprising to see them bounce back.

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