Fans and followers of the Chicago Bulls have been wary of the NBA team's performance before the commencement of the regular season. The anxiety of the basketball squad's supporters could be deduced to have been rooted on the injuries incurred by the players during the offseason. Following a heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the past NBA season, Derrick Rose and his basketball team aimed to avenge themselves this year. However, the leader of the Chicago Bulls appears to be incapable of delivering on such promise.
The absence of Rose to lead the NBA team paved the way for Jimmy Butler. The presence and the capacity of the young Chicago Bulls star had been first witnessed last season, with Butler taking over Rose's post when the veteran got injured. Although the up and coming star showed off his remarkable skills last season, the issues plaguing the Chicago Bulls roster remain unresolved to date.
"I don't think we bring that fight every single night," shared Butler following a particularly strenuous practice session of the Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN. He went on to say, "I think we're starting to get back to that, but early on we weren't the hardest-playing team every night. We always need to and have to be the hardest-playing team."
Since the start of the NBA regular season, the Chicago Bulls have been struggling to mesh well with one another. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson cannot seem to find the right way to relive the glory days of their team up. Meanwhile, Pau Gasol remains problematic when it comes to defense. As for the once promising Nikola Mirotic, his shots nowadays keep missing the mark. In fact, even Rose has been bringing problems for the Chicago Bulls due to his injuries and the effects of such in the plays. Despite all these concerns, Butler is still optimistic that his NBA team will weather all the difficulties.
"He's [Butler] been amazing, man," commented Rose in another ESPN report. The injured Chicago Bulls star added, "He's playing great basketball. If anything, he pushes, I think not only me but the whole league to work on their game. The way he's been working out, the way he's focused and how consistent he's been playing, I think he's pushing the entire league.''
The energy and enthusiasm of Butler further resonated in the Chicago Bulls roster when he earlier volunteered to guard Golden State Warriors star shooter, Stephen Curry. Before the game against the NBA champs, Butler expressed his desire to go face to face with the MVP.
"I look forward to guarding everybody in this league, especially a prime-time scorer like him," said Butler in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. He added, "So I'll ask Coach for that matchup. No disrespect to him, but I like that."
When game day came, however, Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg assigned Butler to guard Draymond Green instead. Although the team lost to the reigning NBA champs, Hoiberg acknowledged and appreciated the determination of Butler not to back down from Curry.
"I think the biggest thing is he wants [the challenge]," noted Hoiberg, referring to Butler's desire to guard Curry and possibly Klay Thompson as well. He added, "He wants that pressure on him. He wants to guard the other team's best player, and he wants to be the guy making plays at the end of the game. So I think that's a big thing, he wants that responsibility."