NBA 2018-19: Jimmy Butler is off to a good start with the Philadelphia 76ers
Jimmy Butler played his first game with the Philadelphia 76ers on the 14th of November, against the Orlando Magic. A 21-0 run by the Magic late in the game erased a double-digit 76ers lead, and ended up winning them the game 111-106.
The game was evidence of a lot of things. Firstly, it proved that Butler alone cannot turn the 76ers into contenders. Butler went 6-12 from the field, recording 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in the loss.
However, it was evident that Butler had to carry less of a load as compared to his run with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Over there, he was essentially the only shot creator on the floor, with his teammates all playing certain roles, albeit pretty well. Towns is a low-post player, still in development, while Wiggins looks for catch-and-shoot opportunities. Derrick Rose is one viable shot-creator and playmaker, but he is late into his career and frequently bogged down with injuries, which meant Butler was the Wolves' only option on a regular night.
With the 76ers, Butler made 4 of his 6 field goals in the paint, courtesy of passers like Ben Simmons. His teammates, Simmons and Embiid, are also a step up from his previous teammates. Embiid has a more polished, physical offense than Towns, and Simmons being a deadlier passer, has more of an impact on the floor, drawing attention from defenders. Markelle Fultz, the first pick for the 2017 draft, is now officially coming off the bench for the 76ers.
Butler's second game with the 76ers, at home, was a much better game for him. Scoring a team-high 28 points, and recording 7 assists, he seemed at home with his teammates.
He had an incredibly efficient game, shooting 80% from the floor on 15 attempts, even drilling home two treys in the 113-107 win against the Utah Jazz, with Hall of Famer Allen Iverson watching from the stands.
Butler described the 76ers group as 'extremely talented', saying that their 'will to win is unmatchable'. He also took a dig at his former teammates in a post-game interview, saying, "It's so fun to win, and so much more fun to play with these guys. Everybody wants to win, and when someone messes up, you talk to them. They don't take it personal, and they do their job."