LeBron James struggled against the Chicago Bulls today, as the Miami Heat lost to Chi-Town in a 95-88 overtime defeat. James was 8-23 shooting for 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. For most of the game, he was guarded by third-year Bulls forward Jimmy Butler. Was Butler the key in James' struggles today? Stats say yes.

As shown below, this is what LeBron's shot chart looked like when guarded by Butler:


LeBron has shown struggles when playing against Chicago, and it's likely because of Butler. Fellow NBA writer Greg Morrison (@SwishNBA) shows another interesting stat when LeBron faces Butler:


Interesting, very interesting.

James has been seen as one of the "unguardable" types, but it's clear that he has shown struggles against the league's top defensive players. We can point back to the 2013 NBA Finals when James showed struggles against Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard.

Just an interesting stat I wanted to share, as the Bulls have a key piece in Butler that can help them against the NBA's best player.

Another note: LeBron probably wants to wear a mask again...



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