Despite what many fans think, Carlos Boozer has been one of the more consistent players on the Chicago Bulls roster racking up 44 double doubles. He has proved to be very dependable and a great teammate. Just ask Joakim Noah, who constantly hears Boozer yell, “Good sh*t, Joe!” Boozer has provided the Bulls with a little of the inside game they’ve been so desperately seeking, and is also one of the better defensive rebounders in the league. Not to mention he has an absolutely beautiful jump shot (and even prettier when it actually goes in). Unfortunately, Boozer seems uninterested when it comes to defensive rotation. And sometimes he seems uninterested in defense at all. Tune in to a game in the fourth and you’ll see him on the bench for that very reason.
Playing in 79 games this season, Boozer’s numbers pretty much mimic his career numbers. Averaging 16.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists, Boozer put together a solid season. Although it’s not exactly what you’d hope for from a player making an astonishing $15 million, but he isn’t paying himself. Anyway, Boozers ability to pass to the cutter and play high-low ball with Noah brought great value to the organization. He’s also one of the best passers at the Power Forward position. Look for him to have a similar season next year, but along with the same defensive inabilities.
Early in January, the Bulls beat the Heat at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Boozer led the way with 27 points and 12 rebounds. The icing on the cake was that his kids were able to watch him do it. The Bulls knew going in that in order to beat the Heat they had to hit the glass. Boozer did just that; grabbing 6 defensive rebounds as well as 6 offensive rebounds. And Miami didn’t have an answer for him.
Boozer pretty much carried the Bulls team when they played the Nets in the playoffs. Evans’ silly tactics and lack of skill seemed to make it easy for him. In Game 3 the Bulls hopped on the Booz cruise (Stacy King-ism) as he led his team to a 79-76 victory, finishing with an impressive 22 points and 16 rebounds. At times it even looked as if Boozer was playing decent defenses.
All in all, Boozer is an overpaid, below the rim big man who struggles when playing against strong athletes and bigger defenders. There’s a lot of talk about using the Amnesty clause on him, which simply means he’s cut with pay and his remaining contract doesn’t count against the Bulls’ salary cap or luxury tax. But I don’t see this happening because Taj Gibson just doesn’t bring enough offense…and the Bull are broke! They can’t afford to pay Boozer to sit on his butt and also pay another player to take his place. As Bulls fans, all we can do is hope that Boozer has interest in playing good team, and individual defense next season.
Final Grade: C-