2016-17 Jimmy Butler Season Averages: 23.9 PPG, 6.2 RB, 5.5 AST, 1.9 STL
By any account, Jimmy Butler had himself quite the year. He made his third straight All-Star appearance, getting voted in as a starter for the first time. His 23.9 points per game led the team in scoring, and he put the team on his back multiple times throughout the year to pull out big wins. In a season of big performances, here are some of Jimmy's most notable:
at LA Lakers, November 20 - The Bulls' annual November West Coast road trip is usually a tough one for the team, but this year's Bulls got the season off to a strong start with a surprising 4-2 road performance, including wins against the playoff-bound Blazers and Jazz. But Jimmy's best individual performance no doubt came in Los Angeles on the second night of a back-to-back. Playing without Dwyane Wade, Jimmy went off for 40 points on 14-23 shooting to pull out a big road win and bump the Bulls record to 9-5.
Jimmy's Line: 40 points (14-23 FG), 12-14 FT, 7 rebounds, 6 assists
vs Brooklyn Nets, December 28 - This game had it all for Jimmy Butler, including his first-ever buzzer beater to win a game in the NBA. The Bulls, playing at home in the midst of a busy month of games, were struggling, losing to the Brooklyn Nets throughout the game. With about five minutes to go, Butler twisted his ankle and needed to be helped to the bench. With Wade already banged up and sitting out the end of the game, and the Nets holding on to a 97-90 lead with two minutes to play, Butler led Chicago to a monster comeback, scoring nine points in the final 2 1/2 minutes, including the dramatic stepback buzzer beater over Bojan Bogdanovic to give the Bulls a 101-99 win.
Jimmy's Line: 40 points (14-29 FG), 11-11 FT, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
vs Charlotte Hornets, January 2 - The Bulls were coming off a demoralizing New Year's Eve loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks, and looking to get the 2017 calendar year off on the right foot. Enter Jimmy Butler. Jimmy became the second Bull since Michael Jordan to post more than one game of at least 50 points. In a maestro performance, Jimmy dropped 52 on the night as the Bulls won an important game against an Eastern Conference Rival playing without Dwyane Wade. Butler was serenaded with chants of "MVP" down the stretch of the game as the Bulls closed down a big win on the back of their star player.
Jimmy's Line - 52 points (15-24 FG), 21-22 FT, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
vs Toronto Raptors, January 7 - Jimmy continues his hot month by leading the Bulls to a huge comeback OT victory over the Raptors to continue the Bulls' dominance over Toronto. After trailing by 19, Butler led the Bulls on a big run in the fourth quarter and nailed a spinning, fadeaway three pointer with 17 seconds left in OT to clinch the game. It would be the third time in six games Jimmy would drop 40.
Jimmy's Line - 42 points (10-25 FG), 18-20 FT, 4-8 3PT, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
at Philadelphia 76ers, April 6 - The Bulls picked up what would end up being a key victory to make the playoffs as they got revenge on a Sixers team that had beaten them at home two weeks prior on the back of a big triple double from Butler. After a loss the previous game on the road to the Knicks, the Bulls could not afford a loss, and Butler made the difference by posting his fourth career triple double and made sure that the Bulls took home the much needed win.
Jimmy's Line - 19 points, 9-9 FT, 10 rebounds, 10 assists