Why Carlos Boozer Must Deliver for Chicago Bulls in 2012-13 Season

Lindsey YoungCorrespondent IISeptember 18, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 24:  Carlos Boozer #5 of the Chicago Bulls tries to get off a shot as Amir Johnson #15 of the Toronto Raptors hip-checks him at the United Center on March 24, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Raptors 102-101 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In coming back for his third season with the Chicago Bulls, veteran Carlos Boozer is feeling the pressure to perform.

First off, Chicago will be without All-Star Derrick Rose until at least early spring, if not for the entire season. Jerry Reinsdorf recently stated the the point guard will not be rushed back. In Rose's absence, the other roster members must step up—Boozer most specifically.

Boozer was brought in from Utah with an incredibly successful reputation, and an expectation no doubt existed that he would strengthen the squad and become a role player alongside Rose.

Rather than continuing to improve, however, Boozer struggled in important games and performed at a below-average level during the postseason.

He was a let-down, to say the least.

Now, with Rose sidelined, mediocre play from Boozer won't be tolerated. Rather, the forward is expected to deliver better stats with more consistency. Even though he doesn't play point guard, Boozer proves capable of running a fluid offense.

There's no real volume scorer in the starting lineup, and Chicago would bode well to run the offense through Boozer like the Utah Jazz did during his prime. For a big man, he's a quality passer.

Getting the ball into him could help the offense flow more effectively. He has the experience, and it couldn't hurt to attempt drawing on those skills used with his previous squad.

Besides needing to step up his game with Rose's injury, Boozer risks being amnestied following the 2012-13 season. In order to avoid such a situation, the Duke alum will have to increase his point-per-game average, capitalize on increased minutes, engage the fans and—most importantly—improve his clutch-time game.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau found himself decreasing Boozer's minutes as he became less and less reliable, and he has a long way to go before he wins back the trust of the franchise.