The Chicago Bulls 2012-2013 campaign has officially come to a close. Now that we are weeks removed from the end of the season and have had time to be reflective, it’s time to take a look back at the performances of the members of this Bulls squad and brief look ahead at the future. The following is the fourth part of a series of nine posts detailing this year’s squad. Each player is assigned a season grade based off of their performance on general preseason expectations.
Name: Jimmy Butler
Height/Weight: 6’7″ / 220 lbs
NBA Seasons: 2
Regular Season Stats: 82 games, 8.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 46.7 FG%, 80.3 FT%
Post-Season Stats: 12 games, 13.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.5 spg, 43.5 FG%, 81.8 FT%
Season Grade: A+
Coming into the season very few people predicted Jimmy Butler to make a name for himself this season and even fewer predicted him to burst onto the scene as grandly as he did. On offensive he provided a solid spark for Chicago by creating his own shot, developed a fairly reliable spot up game (particularly the corner three), and ran in circles for 43 minutes per game grabbing offensive boards, cutting to the hoop, or creating enough space for himself for a spot up shot. Defensively, Butler showed his prowess with quick hands, quick feet on rotations, and by making life extremely difficult for superstars such as Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and Lebron James.
Because Butler came off of the bench for 62 games last season to play an average of 20 minutes per game, Butler’s per game numbers took a hit. When looking at only his per game statistics as a starter, Butler averaged 14.5 points on 45.7% shooting (45.8% from three point range), 7.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Impressive numbers for a second year player. There is cause for concern that these numbers are inflated with such a small sample size, but analysis of advanced statistics show that this may not be the case.
According to Synergy Sports Technology, Butler averaged 1.02 points per possession (ppp) over the course of the season, good for 39th overall in the league. Further breakdown shows he averaged over 1.0 ppp in spot-up situations, cuts, and possessions in which he secured an offensive rebound and between 0.8 to 0.95 ppp in post up situations and pick & roll plays as both the roll man and ball handler. Not too shabby for someone who had limited experience on the floor.
In laymen’s terms- Butler did extremely well this season.
Butler took over the starting shooting guard spot during the playoffs and seems to have secured that spot going into the next season. Butler is under a rookie contract for a few more years so unless an irresistible trade offer comes along he’ll be a member of the Bulls for a good while. This offseason Butler will likely work on developing a more consistent offensive game to pair along side Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah. Should he succeed both he and the Chicago Bulls will flourish.