Former Chicago Bulls: Jimmy Butler can take down Zion on Christmas

Jimmy Butler, Zion Williamson (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler, Zion Williamson (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

A big time showdown looms to tip off the NBA on Christmas Day slate between former Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler and Zion Williamson.

The start to the NBA on Christmas Day slate of games that will have a lot of hoops fans tuned in on Dec. 25 will start with a prominent former star for the Chicago Bulls. Star 31-year-old shooting guard/small forward Jimmy Butler will lead the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat into the tip off to the NBA on Christmas Day slate of games against the sensational second-year forward Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.

This is a really fun matchup to start this day of NBA action on Christmas. “Jimmy G. Buckets” and the Heat are looking to rebound from a disappointing regular season opener loss to the Orlando Magic back on Dec. 23 on the road. Butler and the Heat fell short to the Magic by the final score of 113-107.

Meanwhile, Zion and the Pelicans are coming into this tip off game for the Christmas slate with a record of 1-0. They knocked off the Toronto Raptors on the road in their regular season opener back on Dec. 23 in impressive fashion. The Pelicans got the win over the Raptors by the convincing final score of 113-99.

The Heat and Pelicans did meet on one occasion during the preseason. That game resulted in a win for the Pelicans by the comfortable final score of 114-92. The Dec. 14 preseason meeting between the Heat and Pelicans was played at American Airlines Arena in Miami, and the Christmas Day showdown will be at the same venue.

Butler himself did have a solid outing in the Heat’s regular season opener loss to the Pelicans. He registered 19 points, on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. To go along with those 19 points, Butler posted three rebounds, seven assists, a whopping seven steals, and no blocks.

Zion was also proficient for the Pelicans in their season opening win over the Raptors. He registered 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one Block. And Zion shot an efficient 7-of-9 from the field, but just 1-of-4 from the free-throw line.

It will be interesting to see how the other parts of these two team’s awesome duos will perform in this game. For the Heat, standout big man Bam Adebayo could have a big game as the best center likely on the court. And on the Pelicans side, star forward/wing Brandon Ingram could draw the matchup of veteran Andre Iguodala as the Heat will try to limit his offensive potency.

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The Bulls themselves didn’t get off to the hottest start to tip off their 2020-21 regular season slate. They fell short back on Dec. 23 in their opener at home at the United Center at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks, by the final score of 124-104.