Butler’s second half performance against the Raptors was urgent he willed his way to bucket after bucket. Perhaps Hoiberg is pushing his team enough and Butler has answered the call the past three games.
And the Bulls are feeding him. Sure, Derrick Rose has missed the past three games, but in that span the offense is going through Butler and that’s a good thing. It’s a small sample size, but over the past three games the Bulls have slowed things down offensively. They rank 22nd in the NBA in pace, averaging 98.8 possessions per 48 minutes, but over the past three games have averaged 94.27 possessions per 48 minutes. Their offensive rating points per 100 possessions in that span was 99. In the three games since it has jumped up to 114.7.
Rose’s return to the court is up in the air at this point he’s getting an MRI on Monday but the immediate future is bright for the Bulls. Butler is making sure of it.
2 other things we learned
The good Knicks can beat anyone. The bad ones? Not so much.
Coming off a 27 point loss to the Bulls on Friday where they shot 36.9 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from deep, the New York Knicks had lost 5 of 6 games and looked like a team ready to bow out of the playoff race in the East. But after dominating the Hawks on Sunday, they looked like a team capable of giving any team a scare. They shot 50 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from deep.
It was a similar performance to their big win over the Pistons, when they hit 54.4 percent from the field, only Carmelo Anthony didn’t have to play like a star he had only 11 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. It was Arron Aflalo who went off, scoring 38 points to lead the way. Suffice it to say the Knicks, do better when they shoot the ball well, but it’s more than just that.
They’re winning when moving the ball well and getting good looks. Plus, it helps when the frontcourt duo of Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis were great, too. Lopez had 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Porzingis had 14 points and seven rebounds. The Knicks roster isn’t loaded, but it does give them a chance to win each and every night.
The Heat dominated the Washington Wizards on Sunday, and Dragic, who had 18 points and five assists, outplayed John Wall. It was a miserable game for Wall, who scored 14 points on 6 of 21 shooting and dished out five assists. Dragic and Dwyane Wade teamed up defensively to hold Wall at bay, going under screens and forcing Wall to shoot from deep Wall was 2 for 11 from mid range and beyond. Dragic has been improving as the season progresses. In November, he averaged 10.8 points and 4.1 assists per game. In December and January, he’s averaging 13.2 points and 6.2 assists per game. The Heat are figuring out a way for Dragic and Wade to coexist, and the Heat are starting to emerge as one of the East’s best teams.
Play of the night
Jimmy Butler was probably deserving of play of the night, but he’s been covered something the Phoenix Suns were not doing on defense on Sunday. They were blown out by the Lakers 97 77, who were 7 27 heading into the matchup. jerseys for cheap
And the Lakers were going Globetrotter on them. It’s been a rough go of things for the Suns, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.