Something all-too familiar to Bulls fans is happening to their franchise once again, with injuries to Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, and Kirk Hinrich keeping them out of the lineup and severely hindering how deep this team is. Despite all of the adversity and injuries surrounding the Bulls, don't expect that to hinder the team's spirits. With the team constantly following what Tom Thibodeau preaches, whoever is active for the Bulls will play their hearts out. Just take a look at Jimmy Butler, who is looking more and more like an emerging star with each passing game. Butler recently had this to say about the Bulls, even with the recent injuries plaguing the team.
Hell yeah, it's a championship team. We're going to win that *expletive*.
Butler is exactly what Tom Thibodeau, or any coach, wants in a player. Butler doesn't complain about any circumstances; he goes out each and every game and plays the Iron Man role for the Bulls. Playing the second-most in the NBA in minutes per game (38.7), Butler's exhaustive efforts on defense frustrates each player that has to go up against him. Butler has broken out this year and is the clear front-runner for Most Improved Player. Among shooting guards, Butler is 4th in points per game (20.4), 2nd in field goal percentage (min. 10 shots per game; 49.7%), 3rd in rebounds per game (6.2, including the most offensive rebounds among shooting guards), and 6th in Player Efficiency Rating (21.74). He is playing at an All-Star caliber-level.
Most of all, Jimmy Butler is turning out to be exactly what a Chicago Bull should be. In the face of adversity, Butler refuses to crack. Whatever the circumstance is, Butler will always be counted on by Thibodeau and the rest of the franchise. Most importantly, Butler knows he can count on himself and the rest of his team, regardless of what injuries crutch Chicago. He counts on himself and his team, knowing that they should always have more than enough to win each night.
We've got a team full of NBA players just like everybody else. One guy goes down, and the next has to step up and produce. Don't get me wrong. I don't want anybody to get hurt, but we still have a team full of good guys and we can still win games… We're a good team. We play hard. You know, everything doesn't go your way, but we can only control the things that we can control.
Butler, who is playing in a contract year, has been playing out of his mind because he's had to. He's done everything in his power to get the Bulls in 1st place in the Central Division with an 8-5 record. He has become what a player within the Bulls organization should be and has the mindset a Chicago Bulls player should have. According to Butler, he doesn't care about the money. He loves Chicago and wants to give his all to help bring a title to the Windy City. According to Butler, he is here to stay.
I love the city of Chicago. I think everybody knows that... I just wanted to prove to my teammates, to my coaches, to the city, that I'm here to stay.
If that's the case, Butler will enjoy plenty of success within the franchise.