Jimmy Butler (personal reasons), James Johnson (‘Coach’s Decision-Conditioning’) out for Heat opener

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The Heat very much have their own way of doing things.

That’s why they acquired Jimmy Butler and his unique personality. That’s also why the banished James Johnson for much of training camp due to conditioning issues.

Johnson eventually joined Miami, but neither player will participate in today’s opener against the Grizzlies.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel:

The Heat are counting on Butler to lead them this season. But they still have a capable lead guard in Goran Dragic. Hotshot rookie Tyler Herro could also get a bigger role tonight. (Another scoring guard, Dion Waiters, is suspended.)

As for Johnson, that’s a harsh label for his absence considering he met the conditioning requirements to enter training camp. He didn’t play in the preseason, and that might have factored in sitting him tonight. But the Heat could’ve described this with softer words. Instead, they appear to be trying to motivate him through public pressure (and maybe send a message to future Miami players).

It’s the type of blunt assessment Butler would probably love.

In the meantime, the Heat host the young Grizzlies. Miami still has a good chance to win this game.