CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler's sprained left thumb is getting better, according to Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, but Thibodeau still isn't sure if his starting two guard will be able to open the season on Wednesday when the Bulls face off against the New York Knicks.
"Jimmy's a little better," Thibodeau said after Monday's practice. "He just did a little more shooting so we'll see where he is (Tuesday). Everyone else is fine."
When asked again about Butler's status, Thibodeau remained non-committal as Butler continued shooting with a wrap around his thumb.
"We'll see where he is," Thibodeau said. "It really is day to day. He came in today, did a little more, said he felt better. We'll see where he is (Tuesday) and then the day after. But he's moving in the right direction. If he can go, he will. If he can't, he can't."
The good news for Thibodeau is that his players remain upbeat as the season gets set to begin. Bulls power forward Taj Gibson said that while the second unit is still struggling to find its rhythm in games, they are having no problems in practice knocking off the starters.
"We beat them every day," Gibson said with a smile. "We beat them every day and I love it. The competitiveness between us and the starters and Joakim Noah) and myself. We just go at it every day and it's good for basketball. It's good for us because we need that kind of mentality to push each other and make each other better."