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Butler eager for chance to guard Westbrook when Thunder visit

Four days after he called guarding LeBron James "fun," Jimmy Butler campaigned to match up against Russell Westbrook.

"He's a hell of a player and going to be a force for somebody in this locker room," Butler said late Saturday after his latest star turn, leading the Bulls to an overtime victory against the Raptors. "I don't know if it's going to be me; hopefully so. I want to battle him like I battle against everyone else."

Westbrook plays point guard. Butler plays small forward.

"(Butler is) just pretty much straight-up our point guard for a lot of our games now," coach Fred Hoiberg said.

Oh. So there's that.

Great players find a way to thrust themselves into the middle of everything, and there's no denying the force of nature Westbrook is and the run Butler is on.

As buzz around Butler's most valuable player credentials intensifies, Westbrook comes to town packing averages of 31.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.3 assists that don't easily fit into an overhead compartment. They rank first, 11th and second, respectively.

Westbrook posted his 17th triple-double in the Thunder's victory over the Nuggets on Saturday. And Butler wants that defensive challenge.

The Lawton Constitution

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