User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Bulls' Butler just keeps going and going

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

MIAMI (AP) - Jimmy Butler got into the Chicago starting lineup about six weeks ago, his break coming when a slew of Bulls were dealing with injuries.

Advertisement
He hasn't come off the bench since.

And lately, he hasn't been on the bench at all - literally.

Butler's role right now is to be the Bulls' ironman. NBA regulation games last 48 minutes, and even the guys with the biggest workloads get a little break every now and then. But Butler has played every second of Chicago's last three games, and going back to when he entered Game 5 of his team's first-round series against Brooklyn for the final time, he's been on the court for the last 148 minutes, 29 seconds of Bulls' basketball.

``It's all about the rest that you get in between,'' Butler said. ``I feel like I'll do whatever it takes for this team to win.''

His consecutive-minute streak will almost certainly grow Wednesday night, when he's scheduled to start Game 2 of Chicago's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat. Barring injury or foul trouble, it would not be a surprise if Butler played all 48 minutes again, given how banged-up and depleted the Bulls are on the perimeter these days.

So, go figure. A player from Marquette is one of the biggest stories after one game of this Chicago-Miami series, and his name is not Dwyane Wade.

``He's in shape,'' said Wade, who scored 1,281 points in his two Marquette seasons - four points more than Butler had in his three seasons there. ``The guy is in shape. To be able to play that many minutes in a row, obviously a lot of guys can't do that. And still be aggressive on the offensive end, and defensively be able to guard different guys, he's special in that sense. That's why Marquette chose him.''

Butler scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Chicago's Game 1 win over the reigning NBA champions on Monday night, just the fifth double-double of his young career. Most impressively, though, he spent virtually the entire game guarding Miami's LeBron James, now a four-time MVP who tried to barrel through the slimmer Butler on a number of occasions.

James scored 24 points, and simply overmatched Butler at times down the stretch. But Butler never backed down, and the Bulls got their Game 1 win.

``He does what we need,'' Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.

That's why the Bulls used the final first-round pick of the 2011 draft on Butler, who typically plays either shooting guard or small forward for the Bulls.

A year ago, he averaged 2.6 points in 42 regular-season games and was on the floor for only four minutes - total - in Chicago's six postseason contests. Now he's a starter, and more than that, he's starting to look like a star in the making.

``He came in with a defensive mindset, but he's got a lot of intangibles,'' Thibodeau said. ``Strength, body balance, discipline, intelligence, multiple-effort mentality, really works at it, great work ethic. And I think when you have those type of qualities you continue to improve. So he's gotten better and better.''

Thibodeau was asked if he considered giving Butler even a brief rest in Game 1. He shook his head.

Anyone who's followed the Bulls' rotation in recent weeks shouldn't be surprised by that development.

Since March 24, the date that Butler was inserted into the starting lineup again after spending virtually the entire season as a reserve, Butler has played 910 minutes - by far the most in the NBA over that span. Bulls forward Carlos Boozer is No. 2 at 829. And to put Butler's workload over the last six weeks in even more perspective, consider that Miami's Ray Allen leads his team with 480 minutes played over that stretch.

When Butler left the Bulls' team video session in their posh hotel Tuesday, he found a comfy-looking chair, grabbed a seat and relaxed for the next half-hour.

The rest of his itinerary for the day looked like this: As little as possible.

``Maybe sit outside in the sun,'' Butler said. ``But definitely stay off your feet. You've got to take care of the things that take care of you.''

He looked both spent and exhilarated after Game 1. Beating the champions and the NBA's top overall seed in these playoffs, in their building, when your team is a colossal underdog will do that.

``I was tired, but I was excited,'' Butler said. ``Adrenalin still pumping. Big win down here in Miami, and that's definitely hard to do. So when I did shut it down, I definitely did get some rest.''

Good thing. He'll need it.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: Updated Rookie Odds
ASA: Fading the Cavs and LeBron
NBAPA elects new executive director
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clips
Timberwolves get free agent Mo Williams
LeBron's homecoming show is sold out
Rose returns as Team USA opens camp
Lakers finally confirm Scott is new coach
LeBron to go back to No. 23 with Cavs
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 3067
Paul Bovi + 2374
Kevin Rogers + 2090
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Paul Bovi 58 %
Stephen Nover 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 2013
Michael Black + 1848
Kevin Rogers + 1579
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1320
Kyle Hunter + 1080
Joe Nelson + 993
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2114
Mike Rose + 1851
Kyle Hunter + 945
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!