Jimmy Butler: ‘If I continue to play like this, I’m hurting this team’

Following the Chicago Bulls disheartening performance in an eight-point home loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, All-Star guard Jimmy Butler wasn’t all too impressed by his individual play:

“My teammates won’t say it,” Butler said, via the Chicago Tribune. “My coaches won’t say it. But if I continue to play like this, I’m hurting this team.”

Butler shot 3-of-11 from the field, scoring seven points while adding four rebounds and eight assists in the loss. He’s now shooting just 36 percent from the field and averaging 13.8 points in the six games since his second return from an earlier-season knee injury.

Though, Butler isn’t about to blame his recent struggles on said injury:

“Ain’t nothing wrong with me physically,” Butler continued. “Right now, it’s mentally. The ball’s not going in. I let that affect me on both ends.”

By virtue of Wednesday’s loss to New York, the Bulls are now one full game out of the final playoff seed back east.

Butler may be blaming himself for the team’s loss, but it’s not like the Bulls performed at a decent level with him sidelined. This is a team that posted a 4-10 record in the 14 games he was out of action. It’s now 4-2 since his return.

The Bulls will definitely need Butler to perform at pre-injury form if they are going to earn a playoff spot. They also need others to step up when he’s not hitting.