Jimmy Butler takes blame for defense


Jimmy Butler wants to take the blame for the poor defense. 

Everyone knows that the Chicago Bulls defense is not as strong as it has been in the past. The fans are pointing their fingers in a number of directions for the reasoning on the poor defense. Jimmy Butler wants you to point the fingers at him.

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“I think it starts with me, to tell you the truth,” Butler said before Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets. “I’m supposed to be this prime-time defender and I don’t think I’ve been holding up my end of the bargain lately. So I think whenever I start kicking it up three, four notches on defense and not worry about offense as much, I think it’ll all turn around.”

Jimmy wants to take the blame. He believes that his new found glory on the offensive side of the court is ruining his ability to play at a high level on the defensive side of the court. That makes sense, but that means that Tom Thibodeau should get his starting guard more breathers during the game.

Jimmy leads the team in minutes per game and is often covering the best player on the other team. Jimmy is averaging a career high 39.8 minutes per game. If he was given a little more time to breathe, then maybe he would be able to go all out on the defensive end.

Jimmy might be part of the problem for the defensive struggles, but he is not the only reason why the team is struggling to stop offenses. Joakim Noah is getting back to form after returning from an injury, but he wasn’t moving around on the court like he had as the defensive player of the year earlier in the year. His injury has slowed him down.

The addition of Pau Gasol to the roster has had an impact on the defense as well. It has pushed Joakim Noah to unfamiliar territory on defense. Jo now has to stick to the 4 position and sometimes has to stay at the arc in order to stop some of the big shooters in the league.

Getting Derrick Rose back onto the court is another reason why the defense has struggled. We know that Kirk Hinrich was going to give his all on the defensive end of the court, even if it meant he would produce nothing on offense. With Derrick on the bench for most of the last 2 seasons, Kirk was locking it down as the starter.  Now Kirk is coming off the bench and often has to play stretches at the 2.

The defense has a lot of moving parts and new pieces. They all have to work together to achieve what they set out to do.

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