Jimmy Butler was questionable (back) for Monday’s contest vs. Portland. The 3x All-Star ultimately ended up playing during the Timberwolves 108-107 victory. You have to appreciate Butler registering 35 minutes while battling through injury. That is a real “State of Hockey” type move. He appears to be all about the Minnesota culture.
This past weekend, Seattle Seahawk LB, Bobby Wagner, fought through a hamstring issue. His teammate, Earl Thomas, ridiculed him for playing. The All-Pro safety said “the backups would have done just as good.” Wagner didn’t exactly appreciate that:
Bobby Wagner’s initial response, soon deleted, to Earl Thomas’ opinion Wagner should not have played with his injured hamstring for #Seahawks in today’s blowout loss to Rams pic.twitter.com/emiCl9PnVa
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 18, 2017
Well, that sucks for Pete Carroll (#Skol).
We don’t have those type of inner roster meltdowns over here. Butler’s teammates have to be worshiping his performance.
In case it wasn’t clear before tonight, Jimmy Butler is a bad bad man. He goes for 37 points, 6 rebs, and 4 dimes in 35 minutes with an aching back. Hits huge free throws with the game on the line. Grit & guts. God he’s great.
— John Meyer (@thedailywolf) December 19, 2017
37 POINTS! That’s one for every year of Jamal Crawford’s life! Speaking of Crawford, we’ll get to him soon.
In addition to filling up the stat sheet, Jimmy Butler converted a clutch pair of late free throws. Did anyone even question whether or not he’d make those? I sure as hell didn’t. That is one confident human being. His two points from the charity stripe gave the Wolves a one point lead with 2.5 seconds remaining.
After calling timeout, Portland was set to inbound the ball with a chance to win. I started sweating as this Damian Lillard dagger was replaying itself in my mind:
Damian Lillard amazing game winner vs Rockets (2014 NBA playoffs game 6) pic.twitter.com/WwPxHQ5Gm3
— NBA Videos (@NBA__Videos) November 3, 2017
As someone who considers himself a glass half full guy, sweating it was my bad. There was no need to worry. Lillard did get the ball, but there was no walk-off for the notoriously clutch PG. Wait, nevermind. Technically, it was a walk-off miss.
Now, onto the previously mentioned Jamal Crawford:
— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) December 19, 2017
That’s correct. Jimmy Butler’s sidekick came in the version of the 3x Sixth Man of the Year. Crawford finished with 23 points in only 23 minutes (10-16 FG). 16 of those points came during the 4th quarter. That included an, 8-0 run-sparking, DEEP 3 with MN down 10:
JAMAL CRAWFORD FROM THE LOGO!
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) December 19, 2017
Even with Butler’s performance, without Crawford, there’s no chance the Wolves win that one.
Monday’s victory moved Tom Thibodeau’s team to 18-13 overall. They now travel to Denver for a Wednesday night matchup against the Nuggets. Make sure to plan accordingly for the Mountain Time tip-off (8 PM CST).