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Watch Jimmy Butler's franchise-record second half performance against the Raptors

In case you missed it, Jimmy Butler set a Bulls franchise record with 40 second-half points and pretty much single-handedly erased a 15 point deficit and turned it into a big road win for the Bulls.

As discussed in the recap, Jimmy just brought himself up to another level in this game to become unstoppable. But what stood out to me was that it didn't seem like a situation where he was improbably making obscenely-difficult stops. Watch the video and you'll see a couple long-distance bombs that were him being in the zone, but a lot of it was just simple use of screens to get space.

Here's his full shot chart, which of course doesn't even include the 10-11 from the line.



Jimmy then just usually too big (Lowry, Joseph, Terrence Ross - which I think is Canadian for Tony Snell) for whatever the Raptors threw at him. DeMarre Carroll is Toronto's best wing defender but Jimmy then showed himself to be too quick on those possessions. The Raptors help defense from their bigs was pretty awful too. Dwane Casey probably should've taken our old pal Jimmy Johns out of mothballs, or made any other number of adjustments. Fred Hoiberg was Thibsian in having Butler out there for literally the entire second half, while Carroll played under 11 minutes in that same half [Update: I was gently informed on Twitter that Carroll was on a minutes restriction], and then had Luis Scola as the nominal center for the first 6:15 in the fourth quarter.

Butler spoke tactically after the game in the WGN post-game interview (somewhat loosely transcribed):

It helps that I have shooters on the floor. Nobody helps off of them. Pau setting great screens, he can 'pop' and then you have to guard him. And when you have to guard all five players on the floor, I get a couple layups.

Obviously it was more than 'a couple', and it did speak to how point-Jimmy can work. Butler was bringing the ball up for nearly the whole half and was typically flanked by either non-penetration threats at guard like Hinrich or Moore, and even Aaron Brooks was in more of a standstill-shooter mode.

It's a different question as to whether it can work against a better-prepared defense, or with Derrick Rose (a non-shooter who defenders do help off of) on the floor, but for this key game going to Butler literally every time was what was required for a win. Butler had 4 assists to a single turnover in the 2nd half as well.

After the game too Butler was a quote machine, and you can catch his whole post-game scrum at ol' blog friend HoopsAddict.