Carmelo Anthony leads the NBA in minutes per game at a whopping 39.3. On Wednesday night, Jimmy Butler made 39 minutes look like a Sunday stroll.
Jimmy Butler has now set a regular season franchise record for the Bulls with 60 minutes played.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) January 16, 2014
Butler went for 21 points on 6-of-17 shooting, seven rebounds and six assists in his one hour of game time. It was the most minutes anyone in the NBA has played in a single contest in more than a decade:
Jimmy Butler's 60:20 played is the most by any NBA player since Jalen Rose played 61 for the Pacers against the Rockets in March 2001.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) January 16, 2014
With Deng now balling in Cleveland, it looks like Thibs may have a new go-to guy for the heavy burden.
When asked after the game about the amount of time Butler played, the coach deflected questions with a couple humorous jabs:
Thibodeau on Butler playing 60 minutes, a franchise regular-season record: "That's my favorite TV show."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 16, 2014
Asked Butler how he thinks he'll feel tomorrow: "About your age." Touche.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 16, 2014
Thibodeau can joke for now, and as a 24-year-old professional athlete, you'd expect Butler to be in great condition. But basketball is tough on ankles, knees and pretty much every other joint in the body. Especially NBA basketball.
Considering Butler's already missed 14 of Chicago's 37 games with nagging injuries, you'd think the team would want to be a little more careful with its young starting shooting guard.
For 140-character pearls of wisdom from Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey, follow him on Twitter: @AndrewDBailey.