Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler And Coach Spoelstra Meet At 2022 All-Star Game

Head Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat talks with Jimmy Butler #22(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Head Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat talks with Jimmy Butler #22(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Despite being a little under-represented at the 2022 All-Star Game in Cleveland, the Miami Heat provided an All-Star for Team LeBron and the entire coaching staff for Team Durant. Whichever team won, the Heat were coming home as winners on Sunday night.

Jimmy Butler, the Heat’s only All-Star participant, came off the bench for Team LeBron. Being selected as a backup forward, Butler has averaged 21.8 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 6.0 assists per game this season for the first-place Heat.

Although he is one of a handful of All-Stars putting up these incredible numbers, Butler only played nine minutes during the All-Star Game. He finished the game with two points on one-of-two shooting from the field.

He also added one assist and a pair of steals in his nine minutes. While it may come as a surprise to see Butler play so few minutes, there may have been a few things factoring into the lower-than-usual playing time.

Despite being under-represented at the 2022 All-Star Game, the Miami Heat provided an All-Star for one team and the entire coaching staff for the other.

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First, Coach Spo and the Heat front office might have wanted Butler to play a limited role in more of a cameo appearance. These sorts of things are not unheard of.

In fact, it happened in the game with Chris Paul too. He, along with the rest of the world, just found out he is out indefinitely with a hand injury.

Butler is the most valuable asset for a Heat team that is trying to get further in this year’s playoffs than the previous season’s disappointing run. The higher-ups might have wanted to not take the injury risk in such a fun but meaningless exhibition, though it could have been totally Jimmy’s call too.

Second, Stephen Curry was absolutely on fire. Sinking 16 triples—yes, a thing that actually happened on an NBA court—Curry could not miss in the first three quarters.

Curry and Butler even had a laugh about the former’s shooting in the second quarter. Towards the end of the conversation, it looked like Butler may have decided to stay on the bench so that Curry could stay in and chase his three-point record.

This could also explain the lower minutes for Butler. When a player is hitting shots at a rate that no one has ever seen, it is a classy thing to sacrifice your playing time to see him reach brand new heights of shooting excellence in front of dozens of NBA 75th Anniversary Team members.

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All in all, it was a wonderful All-Star night in Cleveland, but that is now in the rearview mirror. For the Miami Heat, it is on to the last quarter of the season.

There are 23 games left to go for Miami. Now is the time to finish strong and secure the number one seed in the East.