Apparently, Jimmy Butler's maturity isn't limited to the court.
Asked if he believes he deserves more playing time even when Luol Deng is fully recovered from his right hamstring injury, the second-year forward gave an answer Tom Thibodeau would love.
"That's up to the guy in the head coach's office," Butler said. "When I come back off the bench, I'm going to try to do the same things I've been doing. That's all I can say."
Even a close approximation of what Butler has produced as a starter in Deng's absence would suffice. In his third straight start for Deng on Wednesday, Butler tied all his career-highs with 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Butler is averaging 15.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in a staggering 45.7 minutes as a starter.
"It comes from watching Luol Deng play," Butler said. "He does so much for this team. Why not try to be a mini Lu? He scores, he guards, he rebounds, he passes. He brings energy. He does it all for this team."
This humility is one of the reasons teammates like Butler so much. That he can play is another.
"I love playing with Jimmy," Joakim Noah said. "He has that toughness about him. It just fits the Bulls perfect. I'm so proud of him because it's tough sometimes to play behind Luol. But he's always in the gym, working hard, even when he wasn't getting the time he wanted.
"He's a team-first guy. For him to be shining like this and helping us means a lot. I'm really proud of him and his resiliency."
Rose watch: The Bulls didn't practice Thursday, but Derrick Rose continued to have no issues from taking contact in participation against teammates, which Thibodeau divulged Tuesday.
Butler showing he can play at high level across board
Chicago Tribune | Jan 25