Jimmy Butler is Most Improved Player of 2014-15
Kawhi Leonard won Defensive Player of the Year honors not too long ago and Stephen Curry was named the league’s Most Valuable Player two days ago. It made sense for the NBA to unveil who their Most Improved Player of the 2014-15 NBA season was, as well.
Per reports, Chicago Bulls star shooting guard Jimmy Butler got the nod, as he raised his level of play for the fourth year in a row. Butler did more than simply get better in his fourth NBA season, though. He became a superstar.
Butler was already a top notch defensive player a year ago, and his offensive game was rounding into form. But for the 2014-15 season he was asked to shoulder more of a scoring load than ever, thanks at least partially to Derrick Rose missing numerous games with various ailments.
Butler responded with big game after big game, while his season averages of 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game show a star has been born.
Butler is a huge reason why the Bulls finished with the #3 seed in the East and had a shot at the Central division title until late in the year. His balanced game is also partially responsible for the Bulls being tied with the Cavaliers in their first round series.
The big question is whether or not Butler and co. can make a Finals push while the rest of the league appears weakened. That’s really anyone’s guess, but there’s no question Butler makes the Bulls a tough out the rest of the way.
As great as Butler has been, the Bulls aren’t guaranteed to have him around after their run in this year’s playoffs. Butler is a restricted free agent in the summer and after rejecting a long-term deal from the Bulls going into this year, it’s clear he has his sights set on landing a big contract. That could come for the Bulls, or Butler could choose to take his talents elsewhere. Our money is still on Butler staying in the red and white, but it certainly will be an interesting story to follow.
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