Found May 08, 2013 on Fox Sports:
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer Jimmy Butler got into the Chicago starting lineup about six weeks ago, his break coming when a slew of Bulls were dealing with injuries. He hasn't come off the bench since. And lately, he hasn't been on the bench at all - literally. Butler's role right now is to be the Bulls' ironman. NBA regulation games last 48 minutes, and even the guys with the biggest workloads get a little break every now and then. But Butler has played every second of Chicago's last three games, and going back to when he entered Game 5 of his team's first-round series against Brooklyn for the final time, he's been on the court for the last 148 minutes, 29 seconds of Bulls' basketball. ''It's all about the rest that you get in between,'' Butler said. ''I feel like I'll do whatever it takes for this team to win.'' His consecutive-minute streak will almost certainly grow Wednesday night, when he's scheduled to start Game 2 of Chicago's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat. Barring injury or foul trouble, it would not be a surprise if Butler played all 48 minutes again, given how banged-up and depleted the Bulls are on the perimeter these days. So, go figure. A player from Marquette is one of the biggest stories after one game of this Chicago-Miami series, and his name is not Dwyane Wade. ''He's in shape,'' said Wade, who scored 1,281 points in his two Marquette seasons - four points more than Butler had in his three seasons there. ''The guy is in shape. To be able to play that many minutes in a row, obviously a lot of guys can't do that. And still be aggressive on the offensive end, and defensively be able to guard different guys, he's special in that sense. That's why Marquette chose him.'' Butler scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Chicago's Game 1 win over the reigning NBA champions on Monday night, just the fifth double-double of his young career. Most impressively, though, he spent virtually the entire game guarding Miami's LeBron James, now a four-time MVP who tried to barrel through the slimmer Butler on a number of occasions. James scored 24 points, and simply overmatched Butler at times down the stretch. But Butler never backed down, and the Bulls got their Game 1 win. ''He does what we need,'' Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. That's why the Bulls used the final first-round pick of the 2011 draft on Butler, who typically plays either shooting guard or small forward for the Bulls. A year ago, he averaged 2.6 points in 42 regular-season games and was on the floor for only four minutes - total - in Chicago's six postseason contests. Now he's a starter, and more than that, he's starting to look like a star in the making. ''He came in with a defensive mindset, but he's got a lot of intangibles,'' Thibodeau said. ''Strength, body balance, discipline, intelligence, multiple-effort mentality, really works at it, great work ethic. And I think when you have those type of qualities you continue to improve. So he's gotten better and better.'' Thibodeau was asked if he considered giving Butler even a brief rest in Game 1. He shook his head. Anyone who's followed the Bulls' rotation in recent weeks shouldn't be surprised by that development. Since March 24, the date that Butler was inserted into the starting lineup again after spending virtually the entire season as a reserve, Butler has played 910 minutes - by far the most in the NBA over that span. Bulls forward Carlos Boozer is No. 2 at 829. And to put Butler's workload over the last six weeks in even more perspective, consider that Miami's Ray Allen leads his team with 480 minutes played over that stretch. When Butler left the Bulls' team video session in their posh hotel Tuesday, he found a comfy-looking chair, grabbed a seat and relaxed for the next half-hour. The rest of his itinerary for the day looked like this: As little as possible. ''Maybe sit outside in the sun,'' Butler said. ''But definitely stay off your feet. You've got to take care of the things that take care of you.'' He looked both spent and exhilarated after Game 1. Beating the champions and the NBA's top overall seed in these playoffs, in their building, when your team is a colossal underdog will do that. ''I was tired, but I was excited,'' Butler said. ''Adrenalin still pumping. Big win down here in Miami, and that's definitely hard to do. So when I did shut it down, I definitely did get some rest.'' Good thing. He'll need it.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Luol Deng Says He Has Lost 15lbs While Being Sick

Luol Deng has been fighting a nasty illness since the first round of the NBA Playoffs, and he announced today that he has lost about 15 lbs in about a week.   Deng had to undergo a spinal tap for viral meningitis when the illness got bad enough.  Deng has been in and out of the hospital since May 1. #bbpBox_332580412247384065 a { text-decoration:none; color:#000000; }#bbpBox_332580412247384065...

Bulls’ Luol Deng doubtful for Game 3

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters – including K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune – that forward Luol Deng was able to do some shooting earlier in the week. Still, Johnson notes that Deng will continue to be listed as doubtful as Game 3 against the Miami Heat approaches.Along with his light shooting, Deng was also “walking around” on Wednesday, according to...

Miami Heat fan flips off Bulls’ Joakim Noah (Photo)

This Miami Heat fan gave the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah just one thing after he was ejected for berating a ref — her middle finger. That’s one classy lady don’t you think? The refs ejected Noah’s teammate Taj Gibson as well.

LeBron Dives On Nate Robinson Like He’s A Slip -N- Slide (GIF)

Midway through the second quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals featuring the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, LeBron James and Nate Robinson both go for a loose ball.  Only difference is, LeBron outweighs Nate by a good 100 pounds by my guesstimation, and he kinda uses Nate Robinson like his own slip [...]The post LeBron Dives On Nate Robinson Like He’s A Slip ...

Caption the Billboard: Joakim Noah Extinguishing Crying LeBron James

The Bulls and their fans feeling good after their Game 1 victory over the Heat. Curious to see how The Heat come out in Game 2, they seemed more annoyed than concerned about their game 1 loss, but regardless if they blow out the Bulls or not, the Bulls got the split they wanted.

Joakim Noah Tells Derrick Rose’s Critics To ‘Shut Up’

Joakim Noah came to the defense of teammate Derrick Rose when asked about the criticism surrounding the Bulls star and whether he believes the point guard owes it to his injury-ridden team to play. According to ESPN Chicago: If you tore your ACL and you have to be the starting point guard and have the expectations that Derrick has, then maybe you can judge, but everybody who hasn’t...

Chicago Billboard Shows Joakim Noah Extinguishing LeBron James

A billboard in Chicago is celebrating the second round matchup between the Bulls and Heat with a sign featuring Joakim Noah holding a fire extinguisher to an upset looking LeBron James: via Chicagoist.com

Believe in the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls surprised everyone but themselves Monday night. They went into Miami, a place where the Heat had only lost four times this season and took a crucial Game 1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 93-86 win. Some will see Monday night’s win as a fluke, but that shouldn’t be the case. The Bulls held the explosive Heat to just 86 points. They did that with...

Deng stays in Chicago for Game 2

Luol Deng is staying in Chicago and not rejoining the Bulls for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

Bulls beat Heat without Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng

As Monday's Game 1 against the Miami Heat approached, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich were both listed as doubtful and questionable to suit up for the contest. Neither wound up playing, but the Bulls still managed to overcome the heavily favored Heat, taking Game 1 of the second-round series.It was announced early yesterday that Deng wouldn't be playing, as the forward was once...

Chris Bosh Tired Of Talking About Joakim Noah

Just one game into the Eastern Conference Semifinals with the Bulls leading 1-0, Chris Bosh is already tired of talking about his counterpart, Joakim Noah. According to the Chicago Tribune: If there was any doubt about the Bulls’ ability to get into the Heat’s heads after a surprising Game 1 triumph, Heat center Chris Bosh reinforced the idea Tuesday with his response to a simple...

Heat give Bulls a whupping in Game 2

The Heat were pissed off. The Bulls weren't backing down. The result was a lot of Game 2 chippiness in Miami on Wednesday night in its 115-78 win. Hard fouls. Several altercations. Nine technicals, a flagrant and two ejections. And, in the end, a Heat rout that evened this Eastern Conference semifinal series at a game apiece . The bad blood was predictable, really, given the...

How Classy Is This Female Miami Heat Flipping Off Joakim Noah

Class, on top of class. Early in the 4th quarter of the Miami Heat‘s dominating Game 3 win over the Chicago Bulls, both Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected following a series of bad calls by the refs [video below]. As Noah was leaving the court this Miami couple were angrily screaming at Noah which was highlighted by the lady reaching over and sticking her middle finger as...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.