As Timberwolves’ do-it-all forward, Butler posting rare stat line

Jimmy Butler can really do it all.

He’s on track to become the sixth player in the last 10 NBA seasons to average a stat line of 20+ points, 5+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 2+ steals per game. The last players to do it were Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry of the Warriors in 2015-16.

Player Year PPG RPG APG SPG
Chris Paul, NO 2008-09 22.8 5.5 11.0 2.8
Dwyane Wade, Mia 2008-09 30.2 5.0 7.5 2.2
Russell Westbrook, OKC 2014-15 28.1 7.3 8.6 2.1
Stephen Curry, GS 2015-16 30.1 5.4 6.7 2.1
Russell Westbrook, OKC 2015-16 23.5 7.8 10.4 2.5
Jimmy Butler, Min 2017-18 22.5 5.4 5.0 2.0

Not only did these players fill the box scores, but also they led the NBA in a category or two.

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Chris Paul topped the league in assists and steals per game while Wade took the scoring crown in 2008-09. Westbrook’s 28.1 points per game ranked first in 2014-15, and Curry became the NBA’s top scorer and thief (2.1 steals per game) the following year.

Butler doesn’t currently top any NBA list, but he’s close. His 2.0 steals per game are tied for fourth in the NBA with Westbrook and Kris Dunn, who the Timberwolves sent to Chicago as part of their trade for Butler last summer. League-leader Paul George of the Thunder is within striking distance at 2.2 steals per contest.

Butler has a heavy challenge coming to town Tuesday night, as Paul’s Houston Rockets visit the Target Center. In eight career starts against Houston guard James Harden, Butler owns a 4-4 head-to-head record and has held Harden to 20 points or fewer five times.

NOTABLE

— The Rockets have won 30 games over the Timberwolves since 2007-08, their most over a single opponent in that span. Houston is 11-1 against Minnesota in the past four seasons.

— With a win over Houston, Minnesota would tie its longest home win streak in franchise history – 14 games, set in 2003-04.

— Minnesota ranks in the league’s top three teams in forcing turnovers but bottom three in committing turnovers. Only two other franchises have done that since 1977-78.

— It took Harden just 48 games to eclipse the 1,500-point mark this season.

— Harden is scoring 1.5 points per shot attempt this season, which leads the NBA. Karl-Anthony Towns sits in second place with a 1.48 mark.

Statistics courtesy STATS