Jimmy Butler is the guy everybody’s talking about around the league right now, as the two-way guard/forward looks like the missing piece the Philadelphia 76ers were craving so much to complete The Process.
That situation kind of reminds us of what happened last season when Paul George decided to join Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, and truth to be told, they’re actually quite similar players.
So, now that we’re into comparing studs, why don’t we go ahead and break them down? They’re both potential franchise players, even though we think they’re better as the team’s 2nd scoring option. Either way, we’re going to try and determine which one’s better.
Inside Scoring: Jimmy Butler
Paul George is money from all three levels, but Jimmy Butler is one of the best scorers from within close and midrange, considering he does most of his damage off the dribble instead of catching and shooting. Butler isn’t much of a three-point shooter, yet he finds the way to score over 20 a night with his mid-range jumpers, acrobatic layups, and constantly going to the charity stripe.
Outside Scoring: Paul George
Paul George has slowly improved as one of the best three-point shooters in the league, even though his career averages of 37.5% from downtown may not tell you that right away. Still, that’s better than Butler’s 34%, let alone the fact that George scores over 3.2 three-pointers per night, while Butler roughly attempts 4.5 shots from beyond the arc on a nightly basis with only 1.7 three-pointers per game.
Playmaking: Jimmy Butler
They’ve both proven to be quite similar players in this regard, as they could easily run the team’s offense and do so through stretches, but obviously, thrive while finishing plays themselves. Even so, Jimmy Butler is a slightly better and more willing playmaker, averaging 3.4 dimes a game compared to George’s 3.2. Also, Butler’s career high for dimes is 14, while George is 12.
Athleticism: Paul George
While Jimmy Butler is quite an athletic fellow, Paul George’s athleticism is just off the charts. George is one of the most athletic and explosive dunkers in the league, a guy that won’t hesitate to throw a windmill dunk or a 360 mid game. Butler is also an acrobatic finisher and a very crafty player, but George gets the nod here.
Defense: Jimmy Butler
While Paul George is better in passing lanes, mostly because he’s way more aggressive, and averages 1.9 steals per game compared to Butler’s 1.7; Jimmy Butler is a much better overall defender than George. Butler’s defensive awareness is top-tier, as is his lateral quickness. He’s a much better defender in the post as well, even though they’re both elite defenders.
Rim Protection: Paul George
Neither of those guys has been known for their shot-blocking abilities, but even so, Paul George has been a slightly better rim protector than Jimmy Butler throughout his career, mostly because he’s used to guarding bigger guys than Jimmy Buckets. So far, Paul George has averaged just 0,4 blocks a game, the same as Jimmy; but George has been in the league for longer.
Rebounding: Paul George
Once again, mostly because of positioning, Paul George gets the nod here. Both are very good rebounders for their position, but George is a much better rebounder than Jimmy Butler. While Jimmy has averaged 4.9 rebounds a game, George’s career average is 6.2. Moreover, George’s career high for boards is 17 compared to Butler’s 15.
Clutch: Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler has never backed down of the moment. He thrives off making a big shot and let everybody know that he IS a big shot. Paul George, on the other hand, is yet to connect on his first game-winning bucket and has been a major no-show in the clutch throughout his entire career.
Leadership: Jimmy Butler
Well, you may argue Jimmy Butler isn’t much of a good teammate because he’s always calling guys out, but truth to be told, he’s always embraced that self-proclaimed leader role. While George was the best player in Indiana, he pretty much bailed out on them, while Butler loves pulling the strings and pushing his teammates’ buttons to bring the best out of them.
Basketball IQ: Paul George
Well, Paul George is actually more turnover prone than Jimmy Butler, turning the rock over 2.6 times a night compared to Butler’s 1.5. Even so, George is a much smarter and coachable player than Butler, a deadly cutter and a guy that could thrive off the ball as much as off the dribble. George understands the flow of the offense way better than Butler does.
Better Scorer: Paul George
Overall, Jimmy Butler is a solid scorer and a guy that thrives when it matters the most. But actually, Paul George is a much more complete scorer. He’s versatile, can score from all three levels, has a sweet shooting stroke and can also finish with both hands. Butler’s lack of jump shot makes him lose this one.
Impact: Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler always makes sure that you feel his presence, and his absence is truly noted. While Paul George is one of the best players and scorers in the league, it just feels like he could be replaced by some of his teammates stepping up. Butler, on the other side, brings so much energy on both sides of the hardwood, being one of the most impactful players in the league.
1 on 1 Game: Paul George
Paul George has a much better 1 on 1 player and is one of the best isolation scorers in the league. He can pull up, take you all the way down to the rim and shoot out of a crossover. Also, he’s a great wing stopper, so he could be a handful for Butler. Don’t get me wrong, Butler wouldn’t hand him any easy buckets, but the fact that George is a superior scorer makes him a better player 1 on 1.