The Chicago Bulls are heading into their marquee matchup against the seemingly-invincible Golden State Warriors on Friday undermanned. Derrick Rose will sit out with a sprained ankle, and backup point guard Aaron Brooks will also miss the game as he nurses a hamstring injury. That leaves the Bulls scrambling for an answer as to who will attempt to guard the heretofore unstoppable Steph Curry. That unenviable task would presumably lie with Kirk Hinrich, but according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com, Jimmy Butler has told Fred Hoiberg that he’s ready for the challenge:
“I look forward to guarding everybody in this league, especially a prime-time scorer like him,” Butler said after Wednesday’s win over the Phoenix Suns. “So I’ll ask Coach for that matchup. No disrespect to him, but I like that.”
“[Butler’s] going to spend some time on him, there’s no doubt about that,” Hoiberg said. “But other guys are going to have to step up to that challenge as well. Jimmy played almost 43 minutes [Wednesday] night. At the end of the game I tried to run a play for him [and] he said, ‘I can’t,’ and that was with about two minutes left. I think that’s when Hinrich hit the big shot. So yeah, he’s going to have obviously a big stretch on Steph, but so are some other guys as well.”
Butler’s size and length should bother the reigning MVP at least a little bit, but it’s going to take a concerted effort from the entire team to try and slow him down. And even that might not be enough, considering how thoroughly and methodically he carved up the Clippers on Thursday night in their stunning come-from-behind win.