In last Sunday's game against the Toronto Raptors, the obstacles were severe for Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler. He scored just two points in the first half and got elbowed in the lip by Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll, opening a cut that required stitches. The second half was looking grim.
Jimmy Butler leaves the game with a cut lip cut from an elbow by DeMarre Carroll. pic.twitter.com/RvIhNTIrTF
— MarcusD (@_MarcusD_) January 3, 2016
Some players would have sat out the rest of the game, but the injury turned Butler into a beast. One of his goals this season was to play more minutes. He told STACK, "One of the main goals this off-season is to maintain my health for a whole year so I can help my team win as many games as possible."
Butler put this game in the win column for his goal. In the second half, he scored 40 points, setting a Bulls franchise record for points in a half—breaking the previous mark of 39 points set by Michael Jordan—and helping his team edge the Raptors 115-113.
Even with the busted lip, Butler still played 39 minutes. So far this year, Butler is averaging 21.8 points and 38 minutes a game, compared to his previous injury-plagued career averages of 12.8 points and 30 minutes a game.
So far, Butler's hard work to stay healthy and build his durability has paid off big time. Watch the video above to see Butler's off-season training, and check out highlights of his 40-point outburst below.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock