Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
Sometimes a coach’s best move is to simply step back and trust their star player.
With that in mind, Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg didn’t bother drawing up anything complex during the timeout before his team came away with a buzzer-beating 101-99 victory over the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
Instead, the play was simple – Hoiberg told his team to feed Jimmy Butler, who finished with 40 on the night after drilling the game-winner.
“Give Jimmy the ball,” Butler said of Hoiberg’s message, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “And everybody just go to the corner and just get out of the way.
“I like that play,” a giddy Butler added. “I like that play. Man, I like that play. I’m with that play. Don’t put it in the playbook all the time, though, because I’d probably take a lot of bad shots out of it if he let me run it too many times per game.”
That Butler was tasked with the final shot was no accident – the step-back jumper is his signature move.
“I shoot that shot a lot at night,” Butler said. “So I’m confident that that’s going to go in. … Everything y’all see me do, I do every night. Over and over again. That’s where the confidence comes from, is the work that you put in every single day that y’all don’t see. But yeah, that’s in the repertoire. I don’t use it very often, I got to save it for the game situations.”
Butler was saddled with the task of carrying the Bulls after Dwyane Wade left the game with a migraine. He promptly responded by scoring 13 of Chicago’s 25 fourth-quarter points.