The Miami Heat are scheduled to commence their fifth and second to final preseason game on Thursday. Facing off against the Atlanta Hawks, the same team that they opened their preseason slate of games against.
There has been a theme for the Miami Heat’s entire group of games as well though and it isn’t playing the Hawks as much as possible. Like another preseason game, many of the Miami Heat’s main guys won’t go and that does include Jimmy Butler, who’s only played in the game against Houston thus far.
WIth a unit that will seemingly consist of Max Strus, Javonte Smart, Micah Potter, D.J. Stewart, Caleb Martin, KZ Okpala, Dru Smith, Gabe Vincent and Udonis Haslem, ceremonially in all likelihood, the Heat will surely still give the Hawks all they can handle in a preseason game.
The Miami Heat will have played five preseason games by the end of Thursday night. Jimmy Butler will have only played one and that’s totally fine.
None of that is the topic here though.
Though this game isn’t a great example, as quite a few of the Heat’s guys aren’t going, the theme is that Jimmy Butler hasn’t played a lot. While some might see that and wonder why, it’s actually not a bad thing, at all.
For starters, Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat have played a ton of ball in the last few seasons. Going on a deep NBA Finals run through the bubble and though swept out of the playoffs early last season, they will have played parts of three seasons in a short amount of time here shortly.
Secondly, you look at Jimmy Butler’s playing style and mentality. He knows no other way to go than All-Out and that’s at all times.
The last point and indicative of everything else above, you look at the amount of time he tends to and has missed across his typical NBA season. Over his career, he’s only played in 82 games once in 12 seasons.
If you look at just his time with the Miami Heat, he played in only 58 of a possible 73 regular season games in the Bubble Year and in 52 of 72 possible games last season. The fact of the matter is this.
You want Jimmy Butler around for the regular year and beyond, for as much as possible, so the preseason, simply, doesn’t really matter with guys like him. You know he’ll be ready when the real thing starts and you trust that a guy like him is putting in the work, a ton of live game reps in the preseason or not.
You also hope that Kyle Lowry‘s presence and the continued emergence of Heat guys will play a part in keeping him fresher too this season, but you do your part as the Heat and Coach Spoelstra here on top of that.
That’s why the fact that we haven’t seen a ton of him in these preseason contests really isn’t a big deal at all.