Jimmy Butler isn’t known as a rim protector, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s incapable of doing it.
The Timberwolves star showed that in Thursday’s game against the Lakers, when he denied not one, but two Lakers on the same play.
It happened with just over one minute remaining in the contest, with the Lakers trailing by six points, looking to chip away at their opponent’s lead. Butler had other plans, though.
Isaiah Thomas found a wide-open Julius Randle just a few feet from the basket, and it appeared as if the Lakers forward had an easy dunk. Butler, however, came flying in from behind to deny Randle at the rim. Randle then came away with the loose ball, and found Thomas at the top of the key. The Lakers point guard drove the lane and attempted a floater near the rim — which Butler also swatted away, essentially sealing the game in the process.
Butler showed that he’s a better two-way player than he gets credit for on that particular play. He’s more than just a scorer.