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Jimmy Butler out for Heat-Hawks Game 5 (knee)

Jimmy Butler in 2022 NBA Playoffs - Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 24: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2022 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Jimmy Butler has been tearing through the Hawks offensively and playing a key role in the Heat’s suffocating defense.

Atlanta will get a reprieve in Game 5 tonight.

Heat:

The big question: Is Miami just being cautious while up 3-1 in the series? Or could Butler’s injury affect him into the next round against the 76ers-Raptors winner?

Health has been a longstanding concern for the 32-year-old who just signed a huge contract extension.

The Heat were already missing Kyle Lowry (hamstring). But they’ve cultivated a good amount of perimeter depth: Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo. Especially Herro can create more scoring opportunities. Butler’s and Lowry’s defensive intelligence and physicality will be more difficult to replicate.