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Starter-to-be Jimmy Butler appears ready for action

Updated: October 30, 2013 6:56AM



Other than Derrick Rose, the player who got the most attention on the first day of practice was swingman Jimmy Butler.

Penciled in as the starting shooting guard this season,
Butler has been putting on a show all summer.

‘‘Jimmy is sort of like under the radar, but he’s really tough,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s improved. He’s not one of those guys that [only] talks about it. . . . Jimmy actually puts the work in. He doesn’t have to say anything. You look at him, and his actions tell you what he’s doing. There are no shortcuts with him. He puts the work in and gives you a solid day’s work.’’

Butler made a name for himself last season, especially when he started all 12 playoff games and averaged 13.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Rather than take it easy after learning he would be a starter this season, Butler spent days and nights at the Berto Center and even surprised Rose by showing up in Los Angeles for a week of workouts with him.

‘‘He’s good,’’ Rose said of Butler. ‘‘I think his biggest adjustment is just going to be feeling comfortable, knowing he can take shots and make decisions. Even dribbling the ball up the floor is going to help us a lot.’’

The rookies

The Bulls have big plans for rookies Tony Snell and Erik Murphy, but patience will be required while they learn Thibodeau’s system.

‘‘The thing about the NBA game is that you’re tying everybody together,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘So if there is hesitation or they break down in one part, the system is not going to work. So they have a long way to go.’’



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