Snow job? Siakam selected as All-Star replacement for Salt Lake over Butler, which seems fine by Heat forward – Boston Herald


If it is three strikes against Jimmy Butler, then the Miami Heat forward apparently has no issue being out when it comes to the NBA All-Star Game.

Bypassed as a starter for the Feb. 19 game in Utah in the combined fan/media/player balloting, and then not among the selections by East coaches for one of the seven reserve spots from the conference, Butler also was not among the injury replacements named Friday by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

With Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Zion Williamson having been ruled out due to injury, those All-Star spots instead went to Pascal Siakam, Anthony Edwards and De’Aaron Fox.

The league typically canvasses potential replacement candidates to gauge their interest.

Butler, 33, typically has taken a start-or-sit out approach to the All-Star Game, having shown a preference for younger players to receive such replacement berths.

At the moment, it leaves center Bam Adebayo, selected as a reserve from the East, as the Heat’s lone representative during All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City.

But with Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown dealing with a facial fractice, it is possible Silver may have to select an additional player from the Eastern Conference, a pool that includes Butler, James Harden and Jalen Brunson, among others.

Asked last week about being bypassed among the initial East reserves, Butler said. “Me no All-Star? Please. I’ll see you’all when I see you’all. But Bam does deserve that. He’s been carrying the load a lot this year. I’m happy for him. As for me? I’m happy I get a vacation.”

While Butler placed one spot ahead of Siakam in the combined fan/media/player balloting for starters, that criteria only is utilized for selecting replacement starters.

Back again

Having sat out at least one game in each of the Heat’s past five back-to-back sets, this weekend sets up as a litmus test for Butler’s balky right knee, with the Heat at home Friday night against the Houston Rockets and then on the road Saturday against the Orlando Magic.

The last time Butler played in games on consecutive nights was when the Heat played road games Oct. 26 against the Portland Trail Blazers and Oct. 27 against the Golden State Warriors.

Since then, Butler sat out against the Sacramento Kings on the second night of consecutive home games on Nov. 2; was on the inactive list due to knee soreness for the Nov. 20-21 back-to-back road set against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves; sat out the second game of a back-to-back set against the visiting Detroit Pistons on Dec. 6 due to what the team listed as “injury management”; with the same reasoning listed for holding Butler out for a road games as part of back-to-back sets Dec. 20 against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dec. 31 against the Utah Jazz. The Heat did not play a back-to-back set in January or earlier this month.

As of Friday, the plan was for Butler to play both Friday and Saturday nights.

Injury report

In the wake of an active day at Thursday’s NBA trading deadline that saw them trade Eric Gordon, Garrison Matthews and Bruno Fernando, the Rockets offered an interesting injury report for Friday’s game against the Heat that actually was short on injuries.

Instead, listed as being out due to “trade pending” were Rockets deadline acquisitions Danny Green, Justin Holiday, Frank Kaminsky and John Wall.

The Rockets already have confirmed that Wall will be waived, with a buyout considered likely with Green.

In addition, the Rockets listed Boban Marjanovic as “not with team,” with Marjanovic waived to open roster space for Houston’s additions, but then expected to be re-signed by the Rockets once he clears the 48-hour waiver period.

The lone injury the Rockets listed was guard Kevin Porter Jr. being out due to a bruised left foot.


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