GAME PREVIEW: Jimmy Butler returns as Heat start a road trip in New Orleans against the Pelicans

Jimmy Butler is back with the team after missing the last 3 games before All-Star break for personal reasons.

Game story:

The NBA All-Star break is officially over, which means it is time to get back to some meaningful Miami Heat basketball. Miami went into the break being winners of two straight against some Eastern Conference contenders and have a current record of 30-25.

They start a four-game road trip tonight in New Orleans against the 34-22 Pelicans. Miami is sitting at the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference while the Pelicans are impressively the fifth seed in the West.

The Pelicans are coming off a win against the Houston Rockets and will welcome the Heat on a second night of a back-to-back. Zion Williamson led the Pelicans in the win last night with 27 points and 9 assists. Their big man Jonas Valanciunas recorded a double-double of 20 points and 14 boards.

Williamson and Valanciunas will for sure pose as solid matchups for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, respectively.

Butler is back with the Heat and will be starting after his short three-game absence due to personal reasons. The superstar was dealing with a death in his family and it is so good to see him get through a tough moment of his life and get back to the game he loves.

Butler is putting together a really strong regular season and has a chance to hit the 50/40/90 shooting split club.

Heat Nation hasn’t nearly seen the best of Butler yet, as he usually ramps up his performance as soon as the All-Star break passes in preparation for a postseason run. Butler’s trainer Chris Brickley went to instagram to share some gym content of Butler working out recently, with a caption of:

“It’s the time of the season where we focus up & make history…”

Miami is also starting this second half of the season with a new face involved, as the Heat picked up gritty defending combo guard Delon Wright off the buyout market a week ago. Wright will provide some nice insurance on the depth chart at the guard position especially with Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson going down with injuries.

Richardson is currently in a sling with his shoulder and will be re-evaluated in a few weeks. However, Heat insider Barry Jackson wrote that Rozier is expected back during this road trip.

Rozier dodged a major bullet with his knee injury not being as serious as it may have looked when he went down in the recent loss to the Boston Celtics.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Tyler Herro (foot) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Josh Richardson (shoulder) — OUT
  • Terry Rozier (knee) — OUT
  • Dru Smith (knee) — OUT

New Orleans Pelicans:


Projected Starting 5 (subject to change):

Miami Heat:

  • Tyler Herro, G
  • Duncan Robinson, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Caleb Martin, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

New Orleans Pelicans:

  • CJ McCollum, G
  • Herb Jones, G
  • Trey Murphy, F
  • Zion Williamson, F
  • Jonas Valanciunas, C

Betting Lines:

  • Check the current odds out at FanDuel!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 8:00 PM EST
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!


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Reality Czech

Game thread?

Last edited 2 months ago by Reality Czech
Surya Fernandez

It’s up, just had to fix it so it was stuck to the top of the site. Thanks!

heat for life

dunc was on fire then came asg

heat for life

the voice of e reid puts smile on my face

heat for life

whos gonna handle zion .have nobody that can match up with him


Heat plays team d so they can handle him


Highsmith until he fouls out…en den then Jovic until he gets injured…en den Bam and bring in Orlando to guard Valanciunas.

heat for life

bam on zion and orob on valuciunas way to go but spo wont do that

heat for life

30 man i see in panther land.2 big injuries to them tkachuk forsling


I know. A team that went into last night with the highest power ranking in the NHL, came out with some real concerns. Imagine if the Heat lost Bam and Butler on the same night.

heat for life

tkacuk barkov is butler bam

heat for life

looks like ingrams out that will help.hello rc and manila missed u guys


Ei there you think we gonna win this one? 😉

heat for life

50 50 game.depends on which jimmy we get

Reality Czech

i feel so warm and fuzzy now that I think we should all sing kumbaya together 😆.


We got game! Yay!! Go Heat! 😊

Reality Czech

Thank goodness for the return of games. It was a veritable ghost town here the last week. I was almost starting to miss hfl!


You guys are like Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel.


More like Will Smith and Chris Rock with virtual slapping. Jus sayin…

heat for life

feelings mutual


This should be a good game.

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