Jimmy Butler Needs to Prove He is More Than Just a Great Defender

Jimmy Butler, Iron Man, Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls guard/forward Jimmy Butler is arguably the best wing defender in the NBA right now. Defensively, not many players in the league can touch him; offensively, he is still a work in progress entering his 4th NBA season. Don’t get me wrong, Butler’s PPG have increased every year he has been in the NBA. Last season Butler averaged a career high 13.1 PPG, but he also averaged a whopping 38.7 MPG.

With Derrick Rose coming back, Butler’s production might dip a bit, but his shot efficiency should improve. Last season Butler shot a career low in field goal percentage (.397) and did not fare any better in three-point field goal percentage (.283). However, one can expect those percentages to rise with the number of open looks and easy buckets Rose will create with his presence on the floor.

Putting percentages aside, just watching Butler play you can see that at times he is hesitant. Last season there were many times when Butler had a driving lane to the hoop, but chose to pass the ball off or settled for a jump shot. Furthermore, there were also times when Butler had wide open looks, especially on the three-point line, and he pump fake too many times instead of pulling the trigger.

As great as Butler is defensively he needs to be much more aggressive offensively. For this upcoming season I don’t think it would be out of the question to see Butler average 10-15 PPG. Butler will get his points if he can knock down the open three and take the ball to the hole and get to the foul line. This season will be a big season for Butler as he sets out to prove he is just more than one of the best defenders in the game.