The Minnesota Timberwolves have made a decent start to the season and are on course to end their long playoff drought.
They currently occupy the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings with a 15-11 record and have shown flashes of their potential.
But consistency has been the biggest issue for the T-Wolves as they are 5-5 in their last 10 games and have found it a struggle to reel off a run of wins.
One of the biggest reasons for this has been fatigue due to the short rotation head coach Tom Thibodeau chooses to deploy on a nightly basis.
He's currently only using eight players a night and as a result, it's piling up the minutes for the team's starting five.
After a hard-fought win over the Los Angeles Clippers in their last outing, Jimmy Butler made a sheepish note of this in the direction of his coach during his postgame on-court interview.
“Yeah, we’ve got to talk to Thibs,” he told Fox Sports North sideline reporter Marney Gellner. “These 40-minute [games] are starting to add up.”
The three-time All-Star's comments were slightly tongue-in-cheek but there was certainly some truth to it.
Butler played a season-high 43 minutes in the matchup with the Clippers and it was his fourth consecutive 40-minute game.
The 27-year-old is one of the toughest competitors on the court and is happy to play as many minutes his team requires. He's also more than familiar with how Thibs operates having experienced it in Chicago.
Under Thibodeau with the Bulls, the All-NBA guard led the league in 2013-14 and 2014-15 playing 38.7 minutes.
The Minnesota coach is known for overexerting his players during the course of the regular season and it has often led to failure in the playoffs.
He was in charge of a talented Bulls team that featured Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Butler but they often ran out of gas in the games that mattered in the postseason and this was attributed to the amount of energy they used up during the 82-game campaign.
It seems almost crazy for Thibodeau to be playing Butler for almost 40 minutes a game as it's still only December and it could increase the chances of injury later in the year.
But this is the way he's operated throughout his coaching career and it seems unlikely to change now even if the Marquette product has a word.
It'll be interesting to see if he sees reduced playing time in their next encounter at home to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.