Butler content with defensive-oriented role

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Butler content with defensive-oriented role

CLEVELAND Second-year Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler knows he hasnt fully established himself in the NBA yet. The organizations decision to pick up his third-year option, while a mere formality in league circles,was meaningful to him.
Thats exciting, just another opportunity to be here, do what I love around the teammates that I love, he told CSN Chicago.com prior to the teams Friday-morning shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena. The Bulls are a great organization. Im extremely blessed and my dreams still going. I just want to keep it going as long as it can.
For now, it appears Butler is locked into a spot in the rotation as the Bulls backup small forward, a job that doesnt come with a lot of extended minutes, given head coach Tom Thibodeaus habit of playing starter Luol Deng for approximately 40 minutes a night.
However, Thibodeau does like Butlers ability on the defensive end and on Wednesday nights season-opening win over Sacramento at the United Center, Butler was used as a situational offense-defense substitute to defend Kings go-to scorer Tyreke Evans.
They posed a number of problems because of the quickness that they had on the floor, particularly in the second half with Isaiah Thomas or Aaron Brooks, and Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans were out there together, Thibodeau explained. I thought Jimmy played hard and did a real solid job for us.
Whether its as a defensive specialist or otherwise, Butler relishes any opportunity to prove he deserves to be on the floor. Furthermore, after an outstanding summer, including a stellar outing at the NBAs summer league in Las Vegas back in July, he wants to show his offensive capabilities, though hes careful not to force the issue as a scorer.
I do like that defensive role. I feel like thats a big part of my game, a big part of what my team wants me to do, so as long as Im out there, Ive got to do whatever Thibs and my team wants me to do, Butler said. Just play simple basketball. Dont make anything too hard or put too much pressure on myself to do any one thing. Just take the offense as it comes and as it goes, if you have an open shot, take it. If you can get to the rim, if you can create for somebody else, do that.

Preps recruiting: Illini add another 2017 piece

Preps recruiting: Illini add another 2017 piece

Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith added another piece to the Fighting Illini Class of 2017 late last night when Prospect two-star ranked offensive tackle Alex Palczewski (6-foot-6, 270 pounds) gave Illinois his verbal commitment.

"I felt extremely comfortable at Illinois," Palczewski told Orange and Blue News publisher Doug Buschon last night. "I know with Coach Lovie Smith there, that program is going to go sky high. We're going to win."

Palczewski, who flew under most recruiting radar screens missed his entire 2015 junior season because of an injury is now the 20th known verbal commitment in the Illinois Class of 2017 and the ninth known in-state commitment. 

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