Cleat Geeks

Bulls Awards-MVP: Jimmy Butler

jimmy-butler2It comes as no surprise that Jimmy Butler is my pick for the Bulls MVP in 2015-16. Even with battling multiple injuries and setbacks, Butler was the most steady production wise in the Windy City.

Let’s take a look at what made this season so special for Jimmy Buckets.

Missing 15 games this season, Butler averaged nearly 21 points per game, just over five rebounds per game and nearly five assists per game as well.

The Marquette alum has grown mightily in his three full mostly starting seasons in Chicago. This season especially, Butler improved in nearly every category including setting highs in points, field goals made and assists.

Even when Butler wasn’t dropping 20 points a game, his numbers were astonishing. What better way to close out a tumultuous season for the Bulls than for Butler to finish with a triple-double against the 76ers. It can’t go without mentioning that Butler scored 53 (including 50 in the second half, a Bulls record) against those same 76ers back in January.

Overall this season, Butler finished with four triple-doubles, carrying the Bulls offense even when it seemed like they might not score 60.ButlerMarquet

What makes Butler so versatile? What makes him such a solid player for the franchise to move forward with? It comes down to who he is as a person. Since his first days trying to cut it as a Bull to even now, Butler continues to push himself to get better.

It was noted back when he started to turn heads, Butler is a gifted scorer with an ability not seen as often anymore. His ability to turn on a dime and drop 50 is unheralded. His defensive ability is even more special to the Bulls, who played musical chairs with all the PF/C combinations they used throughout the season.

As a guard Butler is worth every penny he’s being paid and for good measure. With projections having Tyler Ulis as Chicago’s pick come draft time, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to have Butler at the small forward spot.

That’s what made Butler the easy MVP choice for the Bulls, not only that he drove the offense, but his defensive skill set is still to see full potential, and you couldn’t go a night without a wowzer of a stop by him.

Jimmy-Butler4Where can Butler go from here in his game improvements? It’s all about honing the craft at this point. He’s proven that he’s a star the Bulls need, with all the question marks surrounding the futures of players on the roster, Butler is the only solid option.

What needs work is the leadership, making it known that he’s the guy. He’s the guy when they step on the court, but not in the sense that he’s gonna take 40 shots a game, in the sense that he’s going to make shots when he’s needed, he’s going to make big plays.

It’s too often said that the point guard runs the offense, and that’s true. It can’t go without saying though that Butler’s versatility and overall ability make him that undefined player that the Bulls need moving forward.

Stay tuned for next week for the next Bulls award for the season: Most Improved.

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