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Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler sits with sore knee

Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.

Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.

The difference will come with how he relates to the team when things are not going well, Johnson said. He vowed there is nobody working harder to make sure they are physically and mentally prepared.

I feel like I can be a better team leader, Johnson said. This sport is so much about the people, and keeping that energy in the locker room right is key. … It’s a big puzzle with a lot of people.

That’s the part with my experience and seniority at the team that I can help shape that, which would build a better product to make my driving experience easier.

Johnson said he needs to be honest with the team about how it’s doing, but also make sure he is accurate in what he tells them.

So I’m really trying to be right when I speak up. … This year, with all the change that’s going on, we’re going to make a lot of decisions and making sure we make the right ones early are going to set that arc the team goes on.

Johnson spent last season frustrated because it appeared many of the decisions didn’t work.

Through the course of last year, I turned over every stone that I knew of to help me do a better job, help me communicate with the team, using the [racing] simulator in different ways to try to drive different lines, different driving styles, Johnson said. Unfortunately we just couldn’t make anything really work for us.

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