Jimmy Butler leads Bulls to blowout win over Nets, 4-3 Circus Trip

Jimmy Butler leads Bulls to blowout win over Nets, 4-3 Circus Trip

Jimmy Butler had 26 points, Pau Gasol had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic continued to turn Taj Gibson into trade bait as the Bulls finished up this year’s Circus Trip with a fairly easy 102-84 win over the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday.

Jimmy Butler, All-Star

Jimmy Butler continued to move into All-Star status with yet another game over 20 points, combined with his All-NBA defense that held Joe Johnson to 3 points on 1/7 shooting along with 3 turnovers in 28 minutes of action. Johnson has been an All-Star in seven of the last eight seasons, but today was the perfect showcase as to why Jimmy Butler will be taking his place on this year’s All-Star team.

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Butler scored his 26 points on only 13 field goal attempts, adding 11 makes in 13 trips to the free throw line. Jimmy came into the game 10th in the league in scoring at 21.6 points per game, and fifth in the league in free throw attempts at 8.5 per game. He upped the latter average to 8.8 FTA/game, and if the Bulls continue to be undefeated with their entire starting 5 intact, Jimmy Butler is going to start making a push for 1st Team All-NBA if he keeps scoring at his current rate.

Gasol simply dominated Robin Lopez, scoring his 25 points on 9/12 FG while limiting the former All-Star to 22 minutes because of foul trouble. Gasol himself is currently a lock for the East All-Star team, averaging 19.4 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots in 35.0 minutes per game.

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Nikola Mirotic > Taj Gibson

Niko had another outstanding game off the bench, giving the Bulls 12 points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes. He is making Taj Gibson obsolete – Gibson got hurt early in the Portland game, and that game started Niko on a 5-game stretch where he has averaged 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals in 27.6 minutes per game. He has done it with a .590 True Shooting Percentage as well, shooting 48.7% from the field and 47.1% from behind the arc (shooting 3.4 3’s per game).

If the Bulls can find a way to trade Gibson for a better small forward than Mike Dunleavy, injuries will be the only thing that can stop them from winning the NBA Championship this season.

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Comments

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  • How about Taj for Boston's Jeff Green. Not the sexiest guy, but I'm trying to be realistic, although I'm not sure that Boston sees a need for Taj with Sullinger and Brandon Bass.

  • Yeah I thought about that, and while one would assume that the Celtics are looking to get younger, technically Taj is 2 months younger than Bass.

    That being said, Bass' contract expires next summer, so he certainly could be availabe. However, you can't forget about Zeller and Olynyk, though I have no idea how high Boston is on either of these guys - maybe they'd prefer Taj?

    Charlotte is said to be looking for a PF, but they don't really have anyone I like. Maybe Biyombo, he's a very good defender who might be a good 4th big man for the rest of this season?

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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