NBA Playoffs 2011: What Was Carlos Boozer Thinking as Foul Sparks Miami Heat

Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIMay 26, 2011

Carlos Boozer's flagrant face plant on Lebron James turned all the momentum of Game 5 over to Miami.
Carlos Boozer's flagrant face plant on Lebron James turned all the momentum of Game 5 over to Miami.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls looked like a completely different team Thursday night.

Facing elimination, the Bulls outplayed the Miami Heat and were up 58-47 with about two-and-a-half minutes left to play in the third quarter.

Then the game, momentum and the final outcome of the series completely changed thanks in part to Chicago's $14 million man, Carlos Boozer.

On a LeBron James drive to the hoop from the corner, Boozer face-planted James. The foul was obvious while the repercussions of the foul were about to be set in motion.

Boozer's foul was rightfully ruled as a flagrant foul, meaning free throws were coming up along with an extra possession for Miami. Two LeBron James free throws later, and the Bulls' lead was cut to 58-49.

With the ball the next possession, Bulls forward Luol Deng was hit with a personal foul for running into Mario Chalmers, who hit one of two free throws, and all of a sudden, Chicago's lead was 58-50.

After a Kyle Korver traveling call, Joakim Noah was called for a foul on Heat forward Chris Bosh. The foul greatly upset the sold-out United Center, the Bulls bench and more importantly, Bulls forward Taj Gibson, whose obvious disgust with the call was duly noted with a technical foul.

A LeBron James technical foul free throw, followed by Bosh hitting both of his foul shots, and Chicago's lead was down from 58-47, to 58-53, all in span of just 39 seconds.

Miami, who looked tired, couldn't buy a shot, and looked at ease with going back home for Game 6, took one single flagrant foul call and completely changed the outcome of the game, and eventually, the series.

From Carlos Boozer's flagrant foul onward, Miami outscored Chicago 36-22, en route to an 83-80 series clinching win.

In the end, Carlos Boozer's flagrant foul was not only a bone-headed move, it also cost the Bulls all the momentum and composure they had going their way.