With the exception of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler was far and away the most hyped Chicago Bulls player this offseason. Rightfully so, as Butler had somewhat of a coming out party during last season’s playoffs in which his play caught the eye of many. Due to injuries to Rip Hamilton and Marco Belinelli, Butler was inserted into the starting lineup towards the end of last season and thrived under his new role. So much so that many people believed that the Bulls should trade Luol Deng as Butler would serve as his future replacement.
Despite the hype, Butler has been less than stellar this preseason. Granted he was sidelined for three games with knee soreness, but Butler still was not very effective on offense during the five games that he did play. Although he is a defensive specialist, the Bulls are going to need some scoring out of Butler this year so he can make the game easier and take some pressure off of Rose.
Butler’s field goal percentage was very subpar this preseason as he only had one game in which he shot better than 43 percent. His three-point shot was also nonexistent. In five games he shot 2-for-11 behind the arc, and that simply is not going to cut it.
The good news is this was only the preseason. None of these games really count towards anything significant, but it was still disappointing to see Butler struggle on offense. I still think Butler will have a strong year this season and perform much better during the regular season than what we saw from him in five games in the preseason.
Since Michael Jordan left Chicago in the late 1990s they have not been able to fill the void he left at shooting guard. Many believe that Butler may be the franchise shooting guard the Bulls have been looking for for quite sometime, but he is going to need to prove that he can be that man this season. The play of Jimmy Butler will be one of the most important factors in determining the Bulls success in 2013-14.