Jimmy Butler has been mired in a slump since he logged 60 minutes against the Orlando Magic earlier this month. In the six games since the Bulls' Jan. 15 triple-overtime marathon, Butler is shooting 21-73 from the field (28 percent), 3-27 from the three-point line (11 percent) and is averaging just 9.2 points per game.
“This is the roughest patch I can remember,” Butler told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I sat down with [assistant coach Adrian Griffin], and you know when you’re not making shots, you’ve got to do other things. Your mind could be telling you differently at times, and it does, but you’ve just got to keep playing and figure out a way to put the ball in the basket.”
But putting the ball in the basket hasn’t come easy for Butler, especially since his role has increased in the wake of the Luol Deng trade. But Tom Thibodeau isn’t worried about his swingman’s struggles of late and is confident he’ll break through eventually.
“He’ll bounce back,” Thibodeau said. “Jimmy’s a good player. This is all part of it. I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to go through things like this. Jimmy has had an unusual season in terms of building any rhythm because of all the injuries. But he’ll keep grinding away. He doesn’t have to shoot well for him to play well for us.”
Echoing Thibs’ sentiment, Jimmy Butler isn’t worried much about his individual struggles, he just wants to do whatever he can to help the Bulls keep winning basketball games and let everything else work itself out.
“It’s a team game; it’s all about winning,” he said. “I don’t give a damn how I shoot as long as we have more points than the other team. We’ll figure it out, though. You’ve got to make shots, I know that, but it’s coming. I just can’t focus on offense. Let my defense lead to offense because you can change the game in so many more ways than just scoring.”