MVP?….. Consider Jimmy “Buckets” Butler

Posted: January 28, 2016 in #BringYour"A"GameSportsTalk!, basketball, chicago bulls, news, Sports

Why Jimmy can’t be MVP?

Jimmy Butler has been forced into a leadership position with the Bulls, and he has responded very well. After winning Most Improved Player for the last season, Butler has improved yet again, showing fans that he may in fact, have a stake in the claim of him being the best shooting guard in the league. Don’t ask him if he thinks he is or not. You won’t draw him into that foolish talk. Butler has emerged as the best player on this Bulls team. With Rose missing three games recently, everybody knew that the backcourt weight would fall onto Butler’s shoulders. After calling out coach Fred Hoiberg weeks back, saying he needs to be coached harder, Butler certainly had to live up to talking the talk, and he’s walking the walk. In the three games that Rose missed, Butler took over the load for the Bulls on offense and defense, including a 42-point performance against the Raptors, setting a franchise record for most points in a half (40) in the process. During the 3 games Rose missed, Butler’s averages were very DOPE, averaging 31 points, five assists, four rebounds, one block and a little bit over one steal per contest.

Butler led the Bulls to an undefeated record while Rose missed 3 games. Butler didn’t even miss a beat when Rose returned against the Milwaukee Bucks. Butler recorded 32 points, tied his career-high with ten assists, sinking all eight of his free throws en route to a 117-106 victory over the Bucks. What Butler has been showing recently, I mean let’s be serious; not many players can impact a game on both sides of the ball like Butler can. At one point, the Bulls were sitting at number 2 in the Eastern. Without him, there is no way the Bulls are even close to their 25-19 record, good enough for 4th place in the Eastern Conference. That reason is exactly why he should be in the MVP conversation. Should he be considered a front-runner right now? No, but just like Joakim Noah back when he won Defensive Player of the Year, his impact on the Bulls is greater than an impact that nearly any other player has on their team. That’s why Noah got 4th in the MVP voting that year. Sure, his statistics aren’t flashy like Curry’s, Westbrook’s, or anyone else’s. However, his impact on the Bulls isn’t simply measure in statistics and per game averages. It’s the intangibles he has shown, on and off the court, that make him the unquestioned leader on the team.

Leading the Bulls, and proving time & time again recently that he has the clutch factor, along with his improving statistics, should be enough for him to stake a claim in the MVP race. Over the past month, Butler has looked like the best shooting guard in the league on both sides of the ball. He hasn’t been settling for iso-motion plays on offense. He’s reading the defense now and attacking, especially in the pick & roll now. His defense is as good as ever, holding opponents shooting percentages to some of the lowest in the league and amassing a steal streak that has been unmatched in recent memory. Not only has he proven that he is the leader of this team, but he’s also showing that his name should be mention in the MVP race. #SEERED

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