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Chicago Bulls' forward Jimmy Butler makes strides in second season

Playing time for Bulls' Butler has increased quite a bit from last season, which has instilled confidence in the 23-year-old swingman out of Marquette.

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Chicago Bulls' swingman Jimmy Butler has gained confidence by earning the trust of head coach Tom Thibodeau, writes CSN Chicago's Aggrey Sam. Butler was used throughout the entirety of the fourth quarter in the Bulls' 99-93 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday.

Butler didn't light up the boxscore, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds in 22 minutes, but his tenacity on the defensive end earned praise from Thibodeau:

"He did a great job for us. He's been playing better and better, stays ready and he can guard multiple positions. He plays hard all the time."

The fact that Thibodeau has inserted Butler into the Bulls' rotation as a key player has resonated with the 23-year-old native of Houston, Texas:

"It builds my confidence. It builds my teammates' confidence in me, so I feel great when I'm in there at the end of the game, no matter how many minutes I may play."

Butler, a second-year player out of Marquette, has averaged 2.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 46 career games played. His numbers have increased this season along with his playing time, which has gone from 8.5 minutes per game to 14.0.

While at Marquette, Butler appeared in 106 games in three seasons, scoring 12.0 points and pulling down 5.5 rebounds per contest.