Jimmy Butler is having a great season and his play is one of the reasons why the Chicago Bulls are 10-6, entering into Sunday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. Butler, in the 4th season, as shooting guard-swingman, has incorporated some of the duties that Luol Deng had when Deng played for the Bulls. Butler is a lock-down defender and regularly gets assigned a starting guard. And, this season, Butler has found the scoring touch, increasing his average from last year’s 13.1 points to 21.6 after 16 games this season.
Butler twice has has scored 32 points in stepping up for injured Bulls. Lately, the Bulls have missed Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Taj Gibson. Not to forget Joakim Noah, and Butler himself, who had a sprained thumb early in the season. Slowly but surely, the injured are coming back. Gibson is soon slated to return as his sprained ankle heals. Butler has been the go-to-guy when other guys are out of the game.
All this, after his contract negotiations with Chicago did not bring forth a new agreement. Butler came back to the lineup and picked up his play. In fact, after having a big game, Coach Tom Thibodeau called him “a star.”
The Marquette product is certainly producing in Chicago. Brad Steven, coach of the Boston Celtics said he thought Butler would be selected to the NBA’s All-Star Team, if the game were played today. It’s later this winter, but if Butler continues to perform, look for him to get serious consideration as a reserve.
Chicago faces Brooklyn Sunday at the Barclays Center then heads home after a grueling 7 game road trip.