Bulls star Jimmy Butler didn’t practice Sunday, but an MRI on his injured heel didn’t show any serious damage and he’s a game-time decision for Monday night’s game against the Kings.
Butler certainly appeared to be in good spirits when talking to reporters, and I’m impressed by how many electronics he had on his person here:
Jimmy Butler didn't practice but the MRI came back fine. Doesn't know if he's playing tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/06yd8oHJmy— Sean Highkin (@highkin) February 5, 2017
Butler called his injury a “6” on the pain tolerance scale. The Bulls did well without him in Houston on Friday, although they obviously missed him down the stretch as they blew a late eight-point lead and ultimately lost in OT. The Bulls can certainly win in Sacramento without him, but not having him would make things tougher. Although maybe if Butler sits out we actually see some Denzel Valentine, who’s been recalled from the D-League.
The news wasn’t quite as good on Cristiano Felicio, who will miss at least a week with a strained right leg, an injury he suffered in the loss to Houston. Given Felicio has established himself as a key part of the rotation as the backup center, hopefully he only misses a week and this injury doesn’t linger on longer.
With Felicio out, expect to see more Bobby Portis, who has not been good this year outside of a nice three-point percentage. Portis got five minutes in the Rockets game and had a nice offensive rebounds and putback, but that was about it in terms of offensive contributions. It’d be nice to see Portis take a step forward with Felicio out, but I’m not holding my breath.