Former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette watched his 2013-14 NBA season finish even worse than it started on Tuesday, April 29 as his Chicago Bulls lost 4-1 to the Washington Wizards in their best-of-seven first round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Jimmer did not play one minute of one game for the Bulls in the series, a debacle if there ever was in terms of lopsided defeats. Chicago was fortunate enough to win one game in the series — and even that victory was a squeaker.
What made things worse was that the Bulls couldn’t shoot throughout the series — just as it couldn’t shoot during the regular season. This does not bode well for Jimmer, either, who was only able to showcase his talents in one regular season game, a 17-point outing in 31 minutes late in the season.
In that game, Jimmer shot lights out from the field — but do you think Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau got the memo? Considering the Bulls shot 29 percent from three point range in the playoff series against Washington, you would think Thibodeau would play Jimmer and former Jazzman Ronnie Brewer in a pivotal Game 5.
But, you would be wrong in your assumption — because neither Jimmer nor Brewer saw the floor in Game 5. Instead, Thibodeau stuck to his eight-man rotation and to his stingy defense, as opposed to opening up the floor and giving his team a chance to get back in the series.
“They played better than we did, but we gave it everything we had. They had nothing left. The fight was there. The spirit was there,” Thibodeau said at his post-game press conference Tuesday.
For the record, the Bulls fought and lost by the not-so-lopsided score of 75-69 in Game 5 and shot just 33 percent from the field. For the season and for his career, Jimmer shoots almost 50 percent from the field — and 48 percent from three-point land. Both were areas in which Chicago could have used his help in this series.
Now we’ll never know what Jimmer could have accomplished in Chicago. His time there was more of an afterthought, really. If Jimmer doesn’t play in the playoffs, does he make a sound in terms of attracting interest from other NBA teams? One Deseret News report suggests that Jimmer’s “long-term prospects in the NBA” might have taken a hit.
Perhaps. But, when he played — such as his 17-point night against Orlando — he played well. Yet he didn’t play much in Chicago in the regular season — and not a minute in the playoffs.
So, it’s hard to say where Jimmer will end up, whether it’s in his adopted hometown of Salt Lake City with the Utah Jazz — or somewhere else. Now he’s a free agent, free to choose which NBA team will have his services — if any make offers, that is. The saga of the one they call Jimmer continues — with a busy summer of speculation ahead.