Bulls forward Jimmy Butler made his second straight start in place of the injured Luol Deng (hamstring) on Monday night against the Lakers. He scored 10 points and hauled in eight rebounds in the 95-83 win. He went 4 for 10 from the field, missing his lone attempt from downtown, and made both of his free throws. Butler posted four assists and a steal while playing 43 minutes in the victory. Butler also drew the tough defensive assignment in Kobe Bryant but was able to limit him to 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting.
Analysis: Butler scored a career-high 18 points his last time out and followed it up with another productive performance Monday. He is averaging 10.3 points with 4.2 rebounds in the previous six games while shooting 48 percent (20 for 41) during that stretch. The 23-year-old will return to his bench role once Deng is healthy again so keep an eye on his status going forward. Butler would have more appeal in Fantasy as a starter but continue to leave him for the deepest of formats at this point.
His starting numbers are now 15.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. I saw what he could do at Marquette and I actually had him going to my hometeam Hawks in the draft back in 2011 but I was glad when the Bulls took him. I was also glad when I read that D-Rose met him at the airport and took him under his wing the day after he got drafted. Im really excited about the possibilty of Rose and Butler playing in the backcourt together in the near future.