Winners of five straight, the Bulls (21-12) are the hottest team in the Eastern Conference.

Much of the credit can go to 2-guard Jimmy Butler, who has become an elite scorer in the league. Butler is averaging 22.1 points per game this season and has scored 40 or more points in a single game twice in the past month.

Butler pumped in 36 points against the Celtics in Boston back on Dec. 9. He averaged an even 20 points in three games last season against the Green.

Derrick Rose, who has taken something of a backseat to Butler, is at least saying all the right things.

"Jimmy's been playing unreal right now," Rose told Bulls.com's Sam Smith. "It's fun to see, exciting; I'm happy for him. For a player like him to come into the league and for him to improve the way he is improving and for him being on my team it's good. I don't really have to do too much when I am out there because he's taking great shots and he's making the right plays … Jimmy's been playing unreal right now. He's ballin'. So keep going to him until he doesn't want the ball anymore."

The Chicago game is the first of a three-game road trip for the C's. They'll be at Memphis on Sunday (6 p.m., CSNNE) and at the Knicks on Tuesday (7:30 p.m., CSNNE) before returning home to host the Pacers on Wednesday (8 p.m., CSNNE).