If you needed a reminder of what the “G” stands for in Jimmy G. Buckets, it’s “Gets.” In fact, he did get a few buckets tonight. 52 was the second most amount of points he scored in his career. 20 of those baskets came in the first half and 17 came in the final four minutes. 21 of those 22 points came from the free throw line. He also came up with 12 rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Stacey King said it best: he channeled his “inner-Michael Jordan.”
He outdueled Charlotte’s star point guard, Kemba Walker, who scored 34 points to go along with his 11 rebounds. However, he could not handle Jimmy Butler who made a three with 32.3 seconds left to seal the deal for the Bulls.
Also for the Bulls, Dwyane Wade sat out of the game with a swollen right knee he began to feel near the end of Saturday’s game. He could return to action on Wednesday in Cleveland.
Niko Mirotic had 12 points and Michael Carter-Williams, who was starting in place of the struggling Rajon Rondo, had 10 points, including a jumper with 2:33 remaining that gave the Bulls a lead they did not let go of. These were the only two Bulls, besides Butler, who scored in double digits.
In other words, tonight was the Jimmy Butler Show. However, if the Bulls want to beat the Cavs in Cleveland, other players need to step up. Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez need to have good games. The bench needs to do their part. I sound like a broken record. Anyways, let’s just celebrate the first win of 2017 and hope it leads to more.