Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler insists that the team need to refocus on the defensive end in order to see off the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 on Thursday.
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The Bulls lost Game 5 94-88 at home on Monday night to see the series extended further, and Butler has put it down to the focus being too much on offense which has in turn led to the team’s defense being neglected.
Given that the two-way guard is the best defender on the team, he has accepted the blame for it too and insists that the Bulls need to get it right in Game 6 and finish the Bucks off at the third time of asking.
“I have,” Butler said regarding talking to his teammates about improving, as reported by ESPN.
“I’ll stay on us about it. I’m supposed to be the prime-time defensive guy, and I haven’t been guarding a soul. I’ve been worried about offense too much, and I need to change that quickly or it’s going to be my fault.”
Butler almost put up a triple double in Monday’s loss with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, but it wasn’t enough to secure the win which would have ensured Chicago advanced to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
The 25-year-old conceded that their rivals ultimately played harder than them and that is unacceptable, an opinion echoed by Pau Gasol who added that Chicago need to stop overlooking Milwaukee and get the job done otherwise things can go wrong very quickly for them.
With Kevin Love out for two weeks with a dislocated shoulder and JR Smith suspended for two games, the Bulls will be itching to get their series with Cleveland started as soon as possible. However, they face a real problem in the shape of the Bucks before they get that far.