Game Preview | Butler Focused on One Thing, Winning

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

Scene Setter:

What’s on Jimmy Butler’s mind the most these days?

Winning.

Not not shot attempts, not points scored, or any other measure of individual performance.

The man simply wants to win basketball games.

“I’m here to win,” the four-time All-Star said following Thursday’s practice in Camden. “I’ve always been like that. I always will continue to be that way. Just win at all costs.”

Thanks, in part, to Butler’s own late-game heroics, the 76ers (15-8) have fared well since the 29-year old joined the fray via a November 12th trade with Minnesota, posting a 6-2 record.

Game by game, it seems Butler is getting more and more acclimated to his new surroundings (recently, for instance, he’s getting a better handle on the Sixers’ defensive calls).

Although his time with the team has been relatively short, Butler has enjoyed being introduced to some of the distinct aspects of Sixers culture, like the team breakfasts featuring presentations from players.

The latest one was Thursday. This time around, rookie Jonah Bolden got the call.

He discussed artificial intelligence.

“This is fun,” said Butler. “Basketball is what we do everyday, but within the lines, it’s just that. Outside of it, we have a lot of fun, guys enjoy being with each other. Stuff like that this morning takes your mind away from basketball, but puts your mind on another teammate to see what they’re interested in.”

Most enjoyable of all for Butler, however, has been contributing to collective success.

“As long as we’re winning, I’m not worried about being an All-Star, any of that stuff,” he said. “I think winning takes care of everything, winning helps everybody look great. That’s all I’m worried about.”

Some good perspective from one of the NBA’s top vets.

Opponent Outlook:

Relatively speaking, recent history has been a little bit kinder to the Washington Wizards (8-13) than the team’s rocky start to the season.

Washington opened the year in disappointing fashion, dropping nine of its first 11 games. Over the past three weeks, though, the Wizards have gone 6-4, with victories over the LA Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Houston Rockets.

Matched up Friday against an opponent boasting an early MVP candidate in its frontcourt, Washington will attempt to overcome the absence of Dwight Howard. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year is dealing with injury.

Second-year center Thomas Bryant has been tapped to fill Howard’s spot in the starting line-up.

Follow Along:

Audio: 97.5 FM The Fanatic / Sixers Radio Network

Video: NBC Sports Philadelphia / NBC Sports MyTeams app

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