Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Butler has really been a bright spot so far this Bulls season. He has become quite the spark off the bench; significantly and specifically in the fourth quarter. As of lately he has become one of Thibodeau”s go to guys down the stretch. Butler is obviously a way better defender than he is with his offenseive rhythm, which of course he is working on.
We all know Jimmy can shoot the ball, it’s a matter of him finding his post and becoming consistent with it. With time he will develop into an all around – versatile small forward.
Luol Deng’s time in Chicago is limited, as either he won’t be brought back when his contract is up, or his age will begin to play a role in how he’s used. Butler won’t usurp Deng this year or if Deng comes back, but we’re starting to see the transition between the Deng era and the Butler era will be a
The 23 year old from Marquette has averaged 8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and .4 assists so far this season. He has vastly improved from his rookie season last year. Coach Thibs makes his draft picks work extremely hard for their minutes, which is an incredibly brilliant decision. Just look at how butler is developing, he thrives the most in the 4th quarter those final minutes of play are his best, he locks it down on defense the young man can defend as many guards as he chooses, and with his Bench Mob veteran mentor: Taj Gibson it’s double the defending. Those two are developing into Thib’s defensive dynamic duo. With Butler and Taj out on the court together no possesion is safe.
Just this past Saturday when the Bulls defeated the red hot Knicks at home, Butler gave the Bulls an edge he helped them gain a five point lead with a little over 4 minutes left in the game; courtesy of a layup. Not to mention 4 out of Jimmy’s eight rebounds were grabbed in the 4th. The Bulls were seriously struggling with closing out games earlier in the season.
It is huge that butler is showing up big time, and he is becoming our closer in those crunch time moments when we need him the most. Just imagine him in the fourth quarter with Derrick Rose when he returns. That will be a lethal combination.
With time Jimmy could be coming into his own and he could one day be our starting Power Forward. Timing is everything, as of right now it’s best to give Butler most of his minutes in the 4th. He knows that’s when he plays his best and he knows he has a lot of work to do before he earns enough of Thibs’ trust to start.
The humble country kid from Tomball Texas has an amazing story, he is in his second season in the NBA he was the 31st overall 2011 draft pick, and it’s been wonderful to watch his journey. He has the brightest future ahead of him and we all can’t wait to see how his season pans out with the Bulls this year.
The Bulls face one of the best in the west tonight night: the Los Angeles Clippers. Big time players make big time plays, and Butler needs to continue to impress in big spots. All signs are pointing to a breakout year for a young forward, a starter is on the rise and his name is Jimmy Butler.