Until the return of Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls have needed extra help from just about all of their key players. However, the argument can be made that no players has come up bigger this season than forward Jimmy Butler–who has been nothing but phenomenal for the Bulls over the last couple of weeks.
Butler recently took advantage of Luol Deng–who returned to the lineup Monday–being sidelined to receive some extra playing time and to say he took advantage of the opportunity would be the understatement of the year. With the type of performances he was displaying, it almost looked as if Butler belonged in the starting lineup all season.
Even if Deng is back in the lineup, don’t be surprised if Chicago looks to continue taking advantage of Butler’s impressive performances by giving him as many extra minutes as possible. The fact that Butler reached double digits in six of the last seven games shows how effective he can be as a scorer and who knows–maybe he could end up being the key factor for this team making a strong run at the playoffs considering nobody knows what to expect when it comes to Rose.
As much as Chicago would love to have their star guard in the lineup, there’s no telling if he’ll be able to return to his old dominant form considering how serious an ACL injury is. If that does end up being the case, the Bulls could end up relying on Rose even more than they originally expected to.
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