If it wasn’t obvious already, All-Star forward Jimmy Butler has proven that the Minnesota Timberwolves are indeed his team.
The Minnesota Timberwolves came into Monday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers with a must-win attitude. After dropping a dismal home game to the Pheonix Suns on Dec. 16, the Wolves had to rebound and they did just that. Behind another strong performance by Jimmy Butler, they beat the Blazers 108-107 bringing them to 18-13 on the year.
As mentioned, Butler was the star of the game, leading the way for the Wolves with 37 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. As of late, this should come as no surprise as Jimmy Buckets is in the midst of one heck of a month for Minnesota. After seemingly taking a back seat to the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to start the season, he’s clearly asserted himself as the leader of this team.
For the month of December, the All-Star forward is averaging 24.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.0 steals. Not to mention, he’s shooting an outstanding 48.3 percent from the field and 91.5 percent from the free-throw line. Additionally, he boasts four 30-plus point games out of the nine played thus far in December. In other words, he’s playing dominate basketball, the kind of basketball most expected from the star to start the year.
Contrary to popular thought, Butler didn’t have a great start to the season. Specifically, he struggled to produce efficiently on the offensive end of the court and conceded scoring opportunities to players around him. In the first month and a half, he was averaging close to 14 shots per game and converting on 44 percent of those shots. Since then, he’s averaged 18 shots per game, converting on 48.3 percent of shots, while putting up better numbers in almost every other category.
More from Sporting Sota
- Minnesota Twins bullpen will be their downfall
- Top 5 Minnesota Twins Pitching Prospects
- Kyle Rudolph signing gives stability to Minnesota Vikings offense
- Jake Odorizzi’s emergence fueling Twins starting staff
- Former Minnesota Twins player David Ortiz shot
The popular assumption is that Butler was conceding the opportunity to make the Wolves his team to Towns or Wiggins. In reality, Towns was supposed to be the leader of this squad considering his sky-high potential.
That being said, he’s nowhere near the player Butler is, especially on the defensive end. As a result, it’s hard to justify Towns being the Wolves’ leader given his inefficiencies defensively. Basically, a leader has to show up in all phases of the game. Something Butler does better than anyone else on the roster.
Indeed, Butler figured this out early in the season and has responded accordingly. Sure, the Wolves have still had their struggles – as was evident against the Suns – but Butler has been far from the problem. Ultimately, he has the most complete game on the roster and is the only player ready to lead a team with his all-around play. Consequently, he shows the rest of the team how they should play each and every game. Not to mention, he’s willing to hold others and himself accountable for their effort on both ends of the court.
Overall, Jimmy Buckets is the definition of a leader and he’s undoubtedly the leader of the Wolf Pack. While there’s going to be growing pains – as we’ve seen already – this squad is too talented to not take on the mentality and play of their leader.