Sportress of Blogitude

Jimmy Butler sounds like he’s ready to return Thursday against Nuggets

Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler will be a game-time decision for Thursday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, according to head coach Tom Thibodeau. But Butler on Thursday sure sounded like a player eager to get back on the court.

Thursday’s game is absolutely critical to the Timberwolves’ postseason aspirations, something Butler believes will show Minnesota’s mettle.

“If we can’t go out and compete as hard as we can, if we don’t wake up for this type of game knowing what’s at stake, we’ve got bigger problems than just basketball,” Butler said, via the Star Tribune.

Butler was asked how being able to fully practice this week provided him with the confidence he will indeed be on the court with his teammates Thursday night.

“I feel like I’m a really good player,” Butler said. “I can still put the ball in the basket a little bit and I feel like I’m ready to get out there with my guys. We’ll see how I feel before the game.”

Butler added his plan is to “throw up some jumpers” and “take some layups” and make his decision from there.

“It’s really hard, but I gotta realize that at the end of the day, it’s my decision, my career,” Butler said on the high stakes of the game will influence his decision whether or not to play. “So I have to listen to my body, go out there knowing I can go 100 percent, no matter for how many minutes it’s going to be for. I don’t want to favor anything. I want to know I can go out there and play.”

Butler, the consummate competitor, earlier this week took his teammates to task over their compete level, especially during lapses of effort on the defensive side of the court. And with the seventh-seeded Timberwolves (44-34) only holding a one-game lead over the Nuggets — currently on the outside looking in from the No. 9 spot — Butler will likely do everything possible to be out on the Pepsi Center court for the must-win game.