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Butler smiled through his brief postgame chat with reporters and said neither the turmoil nor the bench role affected his play. “Disengaged? Nah. It was a little different,” he said. “I was still into it. I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I still took the shots I always take. That’s fine. “I’ll be back. I promise. I’m not worried about it at all.
Nick Friedell: Butler says he will still go to “war” with Rondo. Says he’ll prepare the same way he always does.
Vincent Goodwill: Butler: it can go one or two ways. Get better and win or sit and lost. If we win its a good thing. If we lose it wasn’t
KC Johnson: Butler said he didn’t read Rondo’s post.
People who know Rondo believe he can still be a starter in Chicago, but it can’t be with the current group. “Rajon has to play with guys who are more suited to the way he plays,” one person close to him said. “If he’s with some shooters and some slashers, he’ll be fine. They’ll be fine. I think he and Butler can play together, and maybe Wade and Butler can play together. But he and Wade and Butler can’t play together.”
It’s tough to make hard and fast judgments from preseason games, but there is some serious doubt around the NBA regarding Chicago’s constellation of All-Stars. Adding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to Jimmy Butler looks good on paper, but they will have to tweak their games to make the band sing in tune. “Rondo, Wade and Butler are all ball-stoppers,” an opposing executive said. “None of them are great cutters or guys that move without the ball. They’re all isolation-type players. They’re all very good players, but it doesn’t seem to be a good fit.”
KC Johnson: Jimmy Butler: “But I’m not going to take a step backward because I have new players on my team. I’m going to still be aggressive. I’ll still guard. I’ll have a voice in the locker room. I’ll say what needs to be said. What I want them guys to do whenever I’m on some bulls**t, I want them to tell me. I want you to say my name, man to man.”
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December 12, 2017 | 7:33 am EST Update
Sean Cunningham: In speaking with George Hill at his function at Encina Prep HS in Sacramento, I asked him if he’s more at peace in knowing his role with the Kings. His response in the video below. pic.twitter.com/NzkxPCq4H4
“For the talent that we have, obviously this is not where we want to be,” Thunder forward Paul George said. “But we’re going to remain optimistic, though, about the future and what we can do. Once we can find a way to really do it night in and night out, it’s no panic mode, but we have to start playing better. It’s getting to a point where we can’t allow ourselves to be at this point. We can say we’re going to figure it out, we can say all that. But at some point it’s gotta stop.”
Clay Bailey: “The effort wasn’t there. To a man, the responsibility that we have to our teammates, to the organization, to the fans, we didn’t give the fans what they deserve. We didn’t give the organization what they deserve, & we didn’t give one another what we deserve.” — J.B. Bickerstaff
Peter Edmiston: Tyreke Evans: “I think as a team, we don’t know where we’re at. We’re out there just playing, game by game, going with the flow. Every other team, they have an identity, what they want to do. We just play and whatever happens, happens.”