Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler has been named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for 2015 after making significant improvement in his overall play.
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Butler was selected as an All-Star for the first time in his career this season, and that came as a result of improving his average from 13.1 points per game last season to 20.0 this year.
In addition, his shooting percentage rose from 39.7 percent for 46.2 percent, and as he continued to add an offensive threat to his game, it went hand-in-hand with being the premier defender on the team.
The 25-year-old is often tasked with guarding the best player on the opposing side, and as he also showed in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, he is one of few players in the league that can restrict LeBron James at times.
Nevertheless, he has continued to develop his game since arriving in the NBA, and he has ultimately grown from a bit-part player to a reserve before establishing himself as the starting shooting guard for the Bulls along side Derrick Rose.
However, given all of Rose’s injury problems over the past three years, it has been Butler who has emerged as their biggest offensive threat on numerous occasions, although Pau Gasol’s signing certainly gave Chicago a different dynamic this year.
While Butler was appreciative of receiving the award after he was given 92 first-place votes to get a total of 535 points, he insisted that he will look fondly on the recognition provided that he can help his team to a championship this season.
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors finished in second place with 200 points, while Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz completed the top three with 189 points.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 7, 2015