Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

T-Wolves' Butler: Playing 40 minutes a game 'starting to add up'

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Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tired? Well, don’t complain to Jimmy Butler.

The Minnesota Timberwolves star played 40-plus minutes for the third time in his last four games Wednesday night, and it sounds like he’s ready to tell head coach Tom Thibodeau to give him a break.

“Yeah we need to talk to Thibs,” Butler told Fox Sports North’s Marney Gellner while smiling. “These 40 minutes are starting to add up.”

Butler laughed off his statement; however, he has been in the top five in minutes per game for five straight seasons, three of which were under coach Thibodeau.

In fact, Butler’s first time as a full-time starter was under Thibodeau when they were both with the Chicago Bulls. He was tied for first in the league in minutes per game that season.

Year Team Coach Minutes Rank
2013-14 Bulls Thibodeau 38.7 1st
2014-15 Bulls Thibodeau 38.7 1st
2015-16 Bulls Hoiberg 36.9 4th
2016-17 Bulls Hoiberg 37.0 5th
2017-18 Timberwolves Thibodeau 36.9 5th

When Thibodeau is coaching, it’s always interesting to keep an eye on the wear and tear from the minutes played by his starters. Butler has played in 70-plus games just once since he’s become a starter in the league and it wasn’t under Thibodeau.

Something Minnesota can’t afford is Butler missing anymore games. He’s missed two already this season, losses to Indiana (by 23) and Detroit (by 21).

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