Timberwolves’ Butler to sit out against Blazers

NBA

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler will not play Sunday’s game in Portland, the first of a pair of back-to-back games, coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters at shootaround.

“We’re looking at three (games) in four (nights), so we just want to be smart with that,” Thibodeau said.

After Friday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors, Butler had said he would make the call on whether to play in back-to-back games.

“I let them know,” Butler said after the 116-99 loss to the Warriors. “They don’t know how my body feels. So if I’m nicked up, then you can count on that. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t know what we plan on doing tomorrow. Obviously, I got to get some treatment along with a lot of other guys. But we’ll see whenever Sunday and Monday gets here.”

“You have to trust your medical people and you have to trust your players,” Thibodeau explained Sunday. “We’ve said that all along.”

Butler sat out the second game of Minnesota’s first back-to-back this season against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 20, as well as a game on Wednesday against the Utah Jazz that was not part of a back-to-back set. Despite Butler resting Sunday, Thibodeau would not commit to Butler playing Monday when the Timberwolves complete the back-to-back against the Clippers.

“We’ll see how he feels,” Thibodeau said. “He missed training camp, so three in four’s a lot.”

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