Butler Remains Focused Despite Christmas Day Distractions

Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler remains focused on coming out of San Antonio with a win on Christmas Day despite a number of possible distractions.

The Bulls and Butler have played every Christmas Day since he was drafted in 2011. You’d think with a streak like that Butler might be looking for a year off, but that’s not the case. Speaking to media via a global conference call ahead of the festive action Butler explained, ”…going into San Antonio on Christmas Day is going to be tough to get a win on the road, but I think we’re very capable of doing that.  You know, we look forward to games like this.  We’re going in as the underdogs, which we’re just fine with and we just want to play the game that we love.  We just want to compete and get another win on Christmas Day.”

Another possible distraction could be a match up with Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. It’s easy to draw comparisons between the two given their rise from relatively low draft picks, the development of an offensive game  and both coming into the league with reputations as largely defensive players. Butler wasn’t  interested in comparisons or match ups, though he was complimentary of his opponent,
”He plays both sides of the ball extremely well and I just think that the amount of work that we both put into it in the summer and every single day, is the reason our careers have taken off the way that they have. No matter my matchup, as long as we win at the end of the night, it’s not who’s better than who.  It’s all about the team winning the game.”

Despite Butler not wanting to draw comparisons, both he and Leonard have had to shoulder considerably more leadership responsibly this season, after a mass exodus in Chicago with Rose, Noah and Gasol leaving in the off season, whilst Spurs legend Tim Duncan finally hung up his jersey in San Antonio. This extra responsibility is a role that Butler seems to be relishing, having a career year with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists (Basketball Reference) and he’s continuing to learn from his veteran team mates. Speaking on  Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, Butler explained, ”they’re teaching me so much each and every day.  And then you know, I’ve still got young guys that I have to try to mold and try to teach them what it takes to get on the level of Dwayne Wade, of Rondo and how to win.  I think that’s my job.”

The Bulls season remains in the balance, with an imconsisten start in a wide open Eastern Conference. They have had some fantastic wins against Cleveland, on the road to Utah and at home to their Christmas Day opponents the Spurs. They seem to turn up for the big match ups, however they have suffered embarrassing defeats like losing to the injury struck Mavericks and blew a 21 point lead at home to the Timberwolves. This might just lead to an interesting match up on Christmas Day.

by Brynn Cooper

The San Antonio Spurs host Chicago Bulls on the 25th December as part of a full day of action which begins at 5pm. All Christmas Day games are live on BT Sport or Via NBA League Pass (www.nba.tv).

Let us know your thoughts on how the Christmas Day action will pan out on our Twitter page @NBA_UKfans.

Images courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images.

Brynn Cooper is the founder of NBA_UKfans.

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