With the 2013-14 NBA regular season one month away, the hottest topic in the Chicago Bulls camp has obviously been Derrick Rose. During the brief moments in which the interest in Rose’s return died down, Luol Deng’s contract situation became a conversation starter as well. However, despite finishing the season in spectacular fashion, Jimmy Butler has been overshadowed by his teammates’ intriguing stories.
But Tom Thibodeau has not forgotten about Butler, who carried an extremely heavy load towards the end of the 2012-13 season and in the playoffs.
“Jimmy has changed,” Thibodeau said. “He’s in a different place, and I think there are some different things we can change to take advantage of what he does well.”
“Jimmy is very deceiving,” Thibodeau said. “He’s an excellent athlete, very explosive, very quick to the ball. That tells you how he sees the game. His reaction to the ball is special. He’s very quick, strong, can think ahead, very strong.”
“I get a kick in the offseason, everyone’s had a great summer, everyone looks good, but Jimmy actually puts the work in,” he said. “He doesn’t have to say anything. You look at him and his actions tell you what he’s doing. There are no shortcuts with him. He puts the work in and gives you a solid day’s work.”
Clearly, Thibs is excited with what his 24-year-old defensive ace has displayed so far. The emergence of Butler certainly helps the team as a whole, as he is the perfect player for the system and will be starting at shooting guard, which has previously been a thin position for the Bulls.