Could Jimmy Butler be LeBron James 2.0?
Bulls teammate Dwyane Wadenoticedsome parallelsfromButler's performance in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Celtics andJames, who along with Wade helped the Heat stifle Derrick Rose and the Bulls in the2011 Eastern Conference finals.
"I had the luxury of playing with a guy named LeBron," Wade explained Monday, via ESPN.com. "And we did the same thing when we played —toDerrick Rose. You have a point guard who guards him but when you need a guy who's longer, who's just as fast, and all those things, it helps. It gives them a different look, it kind of throws off things.
"You're not going to slow down Isaiah Thomas from getting the looks and getting opportunities. The guy can score as good as anybody in this game. But just to give them a different look, if you get their offense out a little further, if it takes a little bit more time off the clock, all those things help. It's good to be able to have a guy like that to say, 'Get us 30, and then go guard the guy that's got 30.'"
During Game 1 against the Celtics Sunday night, Butler posted30 points and nine rebounds all while guarding Boston star Isaiah Thomas. Wade said only a few players in the league have the ability to operate both offense and defense successfully.Wade spent five seasons playing with James onthe Heat, and has gotten to know Butler this past season, so there may be no one better to draw the comparison.
Wade only scored 11 points in the Bulls' 106-102 victoryand acknowledged his playing time might be put on the back burner. And he's all right with that.
"When I came here, in my [introductory] press conference, I said it was Jimmy Butler's team," Wade said. "And we'll ride Jimmy until we can't ride him no more. And then when they're ready to ride me, I'm ready. At this point in the year it's all about doing whatever it takes to win, and each game is different. You don't know what kind of defensive coverage they're going to throw at him [Tuesday]. So we all got to be prepared but, whatever it takes."