Each week, one Bulls player will be selected as The Bulls Charge’s “Player of the Week.” The selections will be based off the player’s performance during the previous week. Readers’ views and suggestions are taken into consideration when choosing the player, but the editor ultimately makes the decision.
As a whole, the Bulls’ performances last week were a let-down. They played four games in five nights, two back-to-back series, and managed to only grab one win. That one win came against the team with the league’s worst record, the Philadephia 76ers, and even that victory was questionable at times.
But, thanks to Jimmy Butler and his whopping 53 points, the Bulls came away with the victory.
Other than that, Butler was his typical self for the most part, being the Bulls’ primary scorer and contributing in various ways. That being said, there was nothing really special about what he did last week — besides the 53-point game of course — but his game at Philadelphia is simply too substantial to overlook.
Jan. 11: 114-100 loss versus Washington Wizards
Butler was the game’s second leading scorer with 19 points behind Derrick Rose‘s game-high 23 points. He did, however, best Rose in assists with a team-high seven assists as well as a game-high three steals to tie Washington’s John Wall.
Jan. 12: 106-101 loss at Milwaukee Bucks
With a game-high 30 points, Butler was the lone Bull to score over 17 points in the loss at Milwaukee, but it just wasn’t enough to counter Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s dominant 29-point,10-rebound performance. Butler’s streak with at least one steal also ended during this game, as he failed to grab a steal for the first time in 44 games.
Jan. 14: 115-111 win at Phildelphia 76ers (OT)
Any NBA fan would find it reasonable to see a game against the Sixers as an easy win, but that wasn’t the case for the Bulls.
If it weren’t for Butler’s career-high 53 points, the Bulls would’ve been embarrassed by the league’s worst team. There would have been no overtime to allow the Bulls to get out ahead and grab a victory, and there would have been a three-game losing streak and a winless week.
Butler had to especially step up his game against the Sixers with Derrick Rose sitting out, resting a sore left knee, but he went above and beyond that. With the Bulls trailing the Sixers 62-46 at halftime, though, it’s not surprising that Butler took over the game.
His performance bested the Sixers bench’s 50 combined points, and, what’s even more impressive, is he did it all despite a sprained right ankle — Butler sat out shootaround because of the sprain and was questionable to even play against the Sixers.
Jan. 15: 83-77 loss versus Dallas Mavericks
Butler had an uncharacteristic performance against the Mavericks, scoring just four points in 36 minutes, but it is worth mentioning that this was just one night after his career performance in Philadelphia. Despite that, he still had a game-high six assists tied with Dallas’ Deron Williams and tied Rose with a game-high two steals.
E’TWaun Moore received some meaningful minutes last week. He played in Thursday’s win over the Sixers to help make up for Rose’s absence and in Friday’s loss to the Mavericks after Kirk Hinrich ended up suffering a left quad contusion. The more impressive of the two, though, came against the Sixers.
While Butler is the obvious star from that particular game, Moore deserves a lot of credit as well. He scored seven of his 14 points in overtime to help the Bulls secure the win, helping take some pressure off of Butler’s scoring role.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.