D’Antoni said he doesn’t buy into the concept that players should be judged by their number of championships because “there are a lot of guys that got rings that can’t play a lick”, per Youngmisuk.
Butler averaged 22.2 points per game in his first year with the Timberwolves and proved to be the ideal leader for a group of young players searching for an identity under head coach Tom Thibodeau, who helped develop him when they were together with the Chicago Bulls.
“I used to walk around the hallways and in the gym thinking I was Tracy McGrady”, he said. He was my favorite player. “Even if you see behind me, we have the graffiti t-shirt, the graffiti hats, kind of similar to what you’ve seen downtown with the Be Someone mural”. Towns has been impressive during the regular season, but Butler is returning to action after missing 17 games through injury. Russell Westbrook added 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. This is surely an endless frustration for coach Tom Thibodeau, pioneer of numerous defensive schemes that are prevalent in today’s National Basketball Association, but it should make for easy pickings for Houston.
This was not an issue during the Rockets season sweep of the Timberwolves as Houston averaged less than 10 turnovers per game.
This Houston Rockets second team is another talented unit that would be competitive enough in their own right and that’s what makes this team so terrific, having talent at every position possible. “That’s who he is”. Harden, who also had a steal in that span, capped the run with a 3-pointer that prompted Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout. Harden and Paul quickly eviscerated any preseason concerns about their distribution of touches, orchestrating the league’s second-best offense while helping Houston lead the league in both 3-pointers made (15.3) and attempted (42.3) per game. You can’t take away his post-ups and his moves in there. If he could switch on to James Harden for a few minutes at a time in relief of Butler, that would help.
But he has never been motivated by criticism, and he finds his drive in a far different place. I’m just trying to be a professional. Some people can get motivated by that. “I feel like everyone did, really”.