Sixers vs Raptors: 4 takeaways from the game between two of the East's best | NBA 2018/19
The best and the worst from Jimmy Butler
Philadelphia not only acquired an offensively and defensively gifted player when they traded for Jimmy Butler, but they acquired an enigma as well. As is usually the case, Butler was trouble for the Raptors. He amassed 38 points in 38 minutes. He hauled in 10 rebounds, three of those on offence. This is the Butler the 76ers hope to see play for them night in and out. He's capable of it.
Butler was also seen engaged with his teammates discussing and listening to strategy on the bench during timeouts. During the game broadcast, he was also heard encouraging teammates to "get up shots" on every possession and "avoid turnovers".
However, the Butler no one wanted to see emerged with about two minutes left in the third quarter. Facing tenacious defence from a shorter Fred VanVleet, Butler chose to shoot a contested three-point shot. Upon landing, there might have been contact by VanVleet with Butler's hip.
Butler decided to berate the referee for the entire Raptors' possession following his missed shot. Butler could have posted up on VanVleet, he could have tried to beat him off the dribble or jab stepped using a head and shoulder fake to draw the aggressive VanVleet into a foul. Butler did none of these things.
This led to a technical, which gave the Raptors easy and extra points. Butler, clearly still annoyed, decided to take two more three-point shots that missed sandwiched between a missed layup and then a turnover on the next few Philadelphia possessions.
Butler has to let these issues go. A bad referee's call cannot be allowed to affect multiple possessions. The Philadelphia coaching staff will need to reign in Butler's ego for the good of the team.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 20:14 IST