When it comes to all-around play in the month of December, not many have been better than Jimmy Butler.
The Artist Also Known As Jimmy G. Buckets (the G stands for “gets”) is averaging 25.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.2 steals and 2.1 assists per game in nine December games while shooting 49.4 percent from the field.
In the last eight games, Butler has scored 30 or more points in four of them. He’s hauled in six or more rebounds in all but two games and he’s dished out five or more assists in five games.
If you throw out the outlier, when Butler finished with 10 points against the Suns with a bum back, Butler’s Basketball-Reference Score would be 19.8 or more in each game this month. His average for the season is 17.
And all Butler did after hurting his back was score 37 points in the team’s one-point win over the Blazers two days later, a game in which he hit the game-tying and game-winning free throws.
“What more can you say about the guy?” teammate Jamal Crawford said after that game. “He does it every single night. I think that separates good players from the best players. They have the consistency to do it every single day. Two days ago, the guy was laying right there on his back. Literally, he was laying there. You guys didn’t know that, but I’m telling you now. Yeah, I guess it’s breaking news, but the guy was laying there, and 48 hours later he puts us on his back and did an excellent job.”
Butler’s toughness doesn’t come as a surprise. That’s the reputation he’s helped grow and maintain for himself in the NBA. And his “slow” start with the Wolves shouldn’t have been a huge surprise either. Butler wasn’t going to come in right away and set things on fire. He was getting used to his new teammates and it was evident in his first three games when he combined for just 40 points. In fact, in games one through 23, Butler scored 20 or more points nine times. In the last nine games, he’s score 20 or more seven times.
The three-time All-Star is hitting his stride at the right time. Seven of the team’s next nine games are on the road, ranging from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.
His all-around game is setting up for another All-Star appearance. On the season, he’s averaging 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.7 assist and 1.9 steals per game. Given what’s happen thus far this season, it’d be a huge surprise if those numbers didn’t continue to improve.
You can vote Butler to the All-Star Game, which would be his fourth straight, starting Dec. 21.
More information can be found here.