Butler's jump shot abandoned him last season, especially after a toe injury forced him to miss 11 games in November and December. He was shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range prior to the injury, but connected on just 39.3 percent of his shots overall and 27.1 percent from three-point range from that point on.
We can blame Butler's season-long shooting slump on the injury or his increased offensive role, but he should have neither excuse available for him this season. Butler should be healthy, and the Bulls added plenty of offensive firepower this offseason, in the form of Pau Gasol and Doug McDermott, not to mention a hopefully healthy Derrick Rose. Butler took 154 shots off the dribble last season, per Stats.NBA.com, and made just 30.7 percent of them. With a better team around him, Butler should get many more opportunities to shoot with his feet set.
Butler has the skill set to be a tremendously efficient offensive player, given how often he bullies his way to the free-throw line. Last season, Butler filled up the box score extremely well, but his poor shooting limited his Fantasy value somewhat. If a new role helps his efficiency, he could be one of the very best guards in the league in category-based formats.
Markakis is in a 6-for-40 slide that has weakened his stat line to .272/.336/.375. His average is at its lowest point since April 16.
But coaches and teammates expect White, who is questionable with a hamstring injury, to play and play well.
"Roddy has played plenty of games in his career without practice," offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "Roddy has been in this offense for seven, eight years, since coach [Mike] Murlarkey came before me. Sometimes, you're worried about players, assignment-wise. But on a short week, you're not putting a complicated game plan [together] anyway. All the stuff that's in this game plan, Roddy knows it. When it's an experienced guy like Roddy, it's way more about his health than about 'Is he going to know what to do?'
"If Roddy's healthy, if he's able to go full speed, he'll play good."
Fellow wideout Julio Jones told ESPN.com that White is "going to be fine. He always comes back."
The Giants host Houston on Sunday. Cruz has seven catches for 84 yards this season and has not scored a touchdown in 12 straight games.