Full disclosure: I prewrote a recap for this game in the second quarter. It was just that Joakim Noah airball looping forever with the word NOPE. That's it. The Bulls were down 24 to the 76ers in what was going to be the clear low point of Fred Hoiberg's brief tenure in Chicago. This would be the Bulls' fourth straight loss, the Sixers' most lopsided victory in years and the type of defeat that makes you want to take a few weeks off from this team.
Then Jimmy Butler happened. And happened again. And kept happening until all of Philadelphia was covered in fire emojis, Mark Wahlberg quotes and the vague, fleeting sound of popular country music. The Bulls won, 115-111, in a decidedly fun but unquestionably embarrassing victory over one of the worst teams the NBA has ever seen.
But back to Jimmy. The numbers speak for themselves: 53 points on 15-of-30 shooting from the floor and 21-of-25 shooting from the foul line, the most free throw attempts by a player this year not named DeAndre Jordan. He added 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals for good measure, too. Oh, and Butler wasn't even supposed to play in this game with a sprained right ankle, but decided to give it a go because he made a bet with a trainer that he would play all 82 games this season.
Jimmy Butler is basically a superhero and we're all lucky idiots for getting to witness his rise to power.
There was, to put it gently, nothing the 76ers could do when Jimmy decided to take over. It is important to note that the Bulls truly did all they could to lose this game. When Butler finished this hoop-plus-the-harm, he had 51 and the rest of the Bulls had 50.
Only 11 days after his 42-point special in Toronto, Butler one-upped himself again.
E'Twaun Moore deserves props, as well. Moore hit three shots in overtime when Butler was clearly gassed, huge in helping the Bulls not royally screw this up after Butler dug the team out of this grave almost by himself.
Also: Doug McDermott did this:
Yeah, I don't know either.
Anyway, terrible victory, Jimmy is great, everyone else is trash. Go Bulls.
Update: Here's the video of all of Jimmy's buckets: