This was meant as a joke, but when someone suggested to Jimmy Butler in the locker room that he can now add “Beno-stopper” to his list of nicknames, he took immediate offense.
“Why does everybody want to call me somebody else’s name with stopper after it?” Butler asked with mock indignation. “No.”
Hang on, Jimmy. The stats don’t lie in this case.
After dropping 18 points in the third quarter Friday during the Bulls’ 87-86 win at the United Center, Orlando’s Beno Udrih had scored a season-high 27 points before the fourth quarter even started.
So coach Tom Thibodeau’s adjustment was to give the defensive assignment to the 6-foot-7 Butler, and Udrih went scoreless in the fourth quarter as the Bulls rallied to win.
“Man, it just seems that way,” Butler said. “My teammates, they’re always there with me. I always say it’s never, ever, ever just me in any matchup. If it’s a point guard, if it’s a post (player) for that matter — my teammates are always there if I’m beat. I am beat on some plays. I just get all the credit for it. I think it’s a five-man defensive matchup.”
With Butler on Udrih, that also meant putting 5-foot-9 Nate Robinson on 6-8 Tobias Harris, but the Bulls got away with it.
Noah, Belinelli closer:
Here’s the updated Bulls’ injury report for Thursday: Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli very close. Richard Hamilton not close.
At least, that’s how coach Tom Thibodeau put it. Noah has missed the last eight games with plantar fasciitis, while Marco Belinelli has sat out seven with an abdominal strain. Richard Hamilton hasn’t played since Feb. 28 due to a sore back.
“(Hamilton) has a ways to go,” Thibodeau said. “He’s the one guy who’s not real close right now. Right now, we want our guys to be completely healthy. I think Joakim and Marco are very close, so hopefully we’ll have them back shortly.”
Taj Gibson is considered day-to-day with a left knee sprain, but he figures to take at least a week off. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose continues to work out before games.
Thursday’s win at Brooklyn was the Bulls’ seventh this season after trailing by double digits. … The Bulls shot 21.7 percent from the field (5-for-21) in the first quarter against Orlando. … Magic forward Maurice Harkless left in the first half with a sore knee. Orlando was also missing Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.