OK, this is a crazy idea, that is for sure. Why would a team not start their own 80 million dollar free agent acquisition? But the closer you look, the more it makes sense.
Without a doubt, the Bulls team defense would improve by leaps and bounds if Taj was in the starting lineup. Taj has the ability to make the Bulls an even better defense. Since the Bulls' strength is their defense, wouldn't it make more sense to improve upon that strength by having the better defender, Taj, start at the four?
The biggest loss from Taj starting would be the lack of Boozer's 17.5 points a game. Taj, on the other hand, averaged only seven points a game. If a starter, Taj could easily push that number up to around 14 or 15 points a game though.
First, Taj averaged seven while coming off the bench last year and had a couple personal problems throughout the season. It's really not a stretch to think he can find the range on his jumper again and score on a couple more offense rebounds. Plus, don't forget about his newfound dunking ability (Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat can attest to that.).
Plus, don't forget about the few points a game Taj would get off a great pass from Noah. And Noah is the next reason why Taj should be the starter. There really isn't a stat for it or anything like that; just observation. But it seems as if Noah prefers playing alongside Taj more and that Noah/Gibson play better together than Noah/Boozer do. Noah/Taj were deadly when healthy on the court.
If Boozer is with the two's, he obviously would dominate and chip in minimum 10 points off the bench every night. Plus, as a back up, he would take even less of a beating on his body while playing against typically smaller back ups. His career could end up lasting longer.
And let's face it, Carlos Boozer will get injured at some point during this season. It's guaranteed; when doesn't Boozer get hurt? The Bulls played the last portion of the season, and the playoffs, with four men on offense and defense, as Boozer was ineffective because of injury.
I would much rather have a player who can consistently score 12-16 a night (Taj) start over a player who is going to hurt my team most nights because he himself is hurt (Boozer.)
It's a really interesting topic, the Carlos Boozer/Taj Gibson dynamic. Both certainly have their strengths and weaknesses. The big question is, should the Bulls go for consistency from the four position and start the player who won't get hurt?
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!