Earlier in the Bulls’ series against the Bucks, Jimmy Butler was bragging, “They can’t guard me.”
Now that Chicago has lost two straight after going up 3-0, he’s singing a much different tune.
Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
“I’m supposed to be the primetime defensive guy and I haven’t guarded a soul,” Butler said. “I’m worried about offense too much.”
Butler is being too harsh on himself.
The Bulls have allowed the fewest points per possession in the playoffs, and though they haven’t fared quite as well with Butler on the court, they’ve still been excellent. Even in Chicago’s last two games, its problem has been offense much more than defense.
My guess: Butler – the Bulls’ best player – is trying to set an example for his teammates. If he says his effort and focus are aren’t acceptable, whose are? This is what good leaders do.
I doubt Butler has actually lost confidence in his defense, as his message for Giannis Antetokounmpo shows: