Jimmy Butler—the Timberwolves’ prime scorer and easiest participant, and the NBA’s chief in mins consistent with recreation previous to the All-Celebrity holiday—went down in a crumpled heap within the 3rd quarter of Minnesota’s Friday night time loss to the Houston Rockets. It seemed like a non-touch damage, and Butler needed to be helped off the ground:
The Wolves are going to be in hassle if Butler misses a host of time. Their web score plummets from plus-7.eight while he performs to minus-eight.7 while he sits, via some distance the largest on/off plunge for any Minnesota participant. Butler nightly takes at the hardest perimeter shielding task; regardless of him prime the staff in mins the Wolves nonetheless best handle the twenty sixth-ranked safety via shielding score; while he sits, their protective score is going from a superbly decent a hundred and five issues according to one hundred possessions to a in point of fact abdomen-churning 116, a host that may be greater than 5 issues worse than the Phoenix Suns’ league-worst safeguard. Butler is on precisely nobody’s radar as an MVP candidate, however we will be able to be informed in a rush simply how essential his bulldog perimeter safeguard has been in preserving the Wolves any place close to the area of respectability on that finish.
The earliest indicators are as sure as they may be able to be, given the cases:
Butler sat out the All-Celebrity recreation to relax up after a challenging first part. It wouldn’t precisely be truthful to put this damage on the ft of Tom Thibodeau, however it’s value noting, as soon as once more, his historical past of dressed in down his top-use gamers. It used to be needless to say the very first thing that leapt into my thoughts while Butler sagged to the ground Friday night time: oh shit, now not once more.
Butler is reportedly scheduled to go through an MRI Saturday. The Wolves are recently fourth within the Western Convention, a recreation up at the 5th-seed Oklahoma Town Thunder however simply 3 video games up at the 9th-seed Los Angeles Clippers. Palms crossed, Wolves enthusiasts.