The Chicago Bulls lost Game 4 to the Washington Wizards Sunday, and are now on the brink of being knocked out of the playoffs. There have been many issues throughout this series for the Bulls, one of the main issues being the lack of production from Jimmy Butler. Butler was one of the key pieces that got them to the playoffs after the Derrick Rose injury and Luol Deng trade, but he has shown the inability to stay consistent throughout this playoff series.
If the Bulls are going to have any chance at bouncing back from the 3-1 deficit that they are facing, it is going to have to start with Butler’s play improving.
Why does so much rest on the shoulders of a very young swingman? Quite simply, he was one of the only offensive threats that the Bulls have had since the two biggest issues this season happened. He improved his 3-point shooting down the stretch of the regular season and was also much improved at finishing in the paint.
The Bulls have been very adamant about giving Butler every chance to prove himself, but he hasn’t been able to do it. Through the first four games against the Wizards, he has averaged just 13 points per game, which is right at his season average. While that may seem to be a decent number, the downside of it is that he is shooting just 38 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
Chicago is definitely in desperation time, and they need someone to step up to help them score the basketball at the level that they need. Butler is one of the only pieces that is really capable of stepping up and providing that extra spark, and the Bulls need him to do that starting in Game 5. It’s hard to say that a teams chances rest solely on one player, but this situation for Butler is just about as close as it can get.
Evan Massey is a Staff Writer for HoopsHabit.com. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.