Tom Thibodeau's coaching style seemed built into every player on the team—except Carlos Boozer.
So, what can Thibodeau do to motivate the second-year, highest-paid Bull?
I know, it seems crazy. But, maybe that's what drives Boozer—cash.
The Bulls could redo his contract and keep the same salary and number of years, but add defensive incentives. A few hundred thousand dollars here and there for holding his own on the boards and not giving up points.
Will this happen? No.
Would it work? It's possible.
Maybe all Carlos Boozer wants is an NBA Title.
He should realize that if he worked on his defensive skills, it would obviously help his team's chances. Then again, the man did break his hand attempting to answer a door.
If coach Thibodeau sat down and had a heart-to-heart with Boozer and mentioned, "Hey, I want you to work on this, this and this on the defensive side of the ball. We'll get to the offense later," it could very well help Boozer's cause.
Tell Carlos Boozer that if he doesn't perform on defense, he's going to the Cavaliers. That would scare anyone into playing All-Star caliber basketball.
Maybe the Cavaliers should tell their own players that if they don't perform, they are all getting contract extensions.
You'd probably see them in the NBA Finals.
It definitely seems that Boozer is much more interested in his offensive game than his defense.
For every defensive play he makes, give him the ball on offense. How about that?
Obviously, it wouldn't be that cut and dry, but it could give him more motivation.
If he is giving his best attempt on the defensive side, his teammates would feel more obliged to dish him the ball on the offensive side.
Taj Gibson looks like an emerging player.
He showed vast improvement last year and is expected to improve this year as well. He plays hard nose defense and is gaining a decent shot on offense.
If Boozer keeps struggling on the defensive end, look for more and more minutes to slide Gibson's way.