ATLANTA – Jimmy Butler’s message to his team was very simple Wednesday night.
Get butts in the chairs and chairs in the film room.
Players, coaches, himself, heck, team trainers if it will help.
The last thing Butler wants to go through is another season of lost opportunity, all wrapped up by the time the regular season comes to an end.
“It’s all of us,’’ Butler said, following the 115-107 to Atlanta at Phillips Arena. “Everybody in this locker room, including myself, the coaches, we have to start knowing what we’re supposed to be doing.
“I understand guys just came off a back-to-back, guys are shooters, non-shooters, whatever it might be. I think we just have to do what we’re supposed to do. The scouting report, we pay attention to it. And then we get away from it as soon as that ball is thrown up in the air and we get to battling. We lock in on that and we’ll be fine.’’
Butler’s plea to making sure they can lock in and stay locked in?
“You have to study the film,’’ Butler said.
It didn’t look like Butler missed much of what was asked of him. The two-time All-Star scored a season-high 39 points, handed out seven assists and nabbed six steals.
Playing Robin to his Batman was Dwyane Wade, who had 25 points and grabbed five steals.
Not only did Wade agree with Butler’s assessment, but took it a step further. Knowing the game plan and executing it is one thing, knowing when it’s not working and changing it up, well, that has to be on the table.
“I definitely agree with studying film,’’ Wade said. “You’d be surprised with how many players probably don’t study opponent. If a player likes to go right, you should know he likes to go right.’’
But then Wade pointed out that the players have to know when something isn’t working on the defensive end, and get that message to the coaches if they don’t see it themselves.
“For me, I’m a firm believer in don’t give a team one look,’’ Wade said. “When you’re giving them a constant one look all the time it’s easy for a team to get comfortable, and that’s what [Atlanta] did early. Then we changed a little bit and started giving them different looks, and we were able to get back in the game.
“That’s the one thing we need to focus in on as a group is you come in a game with a game plan, but if a team is exploiting that game plan early, you’ve gotta get out of it pretty fast and make adjustments. That’s something we’re still learning together.’’
When it was asked of Wade if that falls on the coaching staff, the veteran said, “It’s on the players to communicate. I mean we’re out there on the floor and we see certain things, so definitely it’s on us and it’s on our coaching staff as well. It’s on all of us, and the thing is they have to feel confident and know that we can make the adjustment as well, depending on who is on the floor. And that goes back to the point of studying. You have to study and be prepared for multiple players coming in and guarding multiple situations. It’s all trust, and that’s what we continue to build here.’’
Maybe not fast enough, as the loss dropped the Bulls to 4-4 on the season after getting outscored in the first quarter, 35-27. As far as the bench helping out, not even close, as they were outscored 54-18.