Chicago Bulls: How Carlos Boozer Can Quiet All the Haters
The 30-year-old Boozer, the Bulls' prized free-agent signing during last summer's extravaganza, had many fans and reporters critical of his lack of production in the 2010-11 season.
Boozer missed 23 games due to injury, didn't seem to gel well with Bulls center Joakim Noah on the court (Noah missed 34 games) and did a disappearing act come playoff time.
Carlos Boozer Needs to Stay Healthy
Chicago Bulls fans are tired of seeing Carlos Boozer a fancy suit sitting on the bench.
That got old really fast.
Boozer, who has lost two seasons collectively through injuries, missed 23 games for the Bulls last year.
Boozer broke his right hand during the preseason by "tripping over" his gym bag in the dark while rushing to answer the door. He subsequently missed the first 15 games.
When Boozer was getting into an offensive groove in January, he suffered a high-ankle sprain on his left foot against the Miami Heat. He also had to battle through turf toe, which he said hampered his production during the playoffs.
For the haters to quiet down, Boozer needs to spend more time performing on the hardwood and less time cheering from the sidelines in snazzy suits.
Carlos Boozer Needs to Be in Shape
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Carlos Boozer needs to be in shape for both his health and to be more affective for the Chicago Bulls.
Chicago Tribune Bulls beat writer K.C. Johnson, who played four years of college basketball, said that it appeared Boozer was out of shape last year, which negatively impacted his ability to run the floor well.
Boozer has been overweight for the past three years, carrying 266 pounds on his hefty frame.
Carrying all that weight produces more impact on his ankles and knees when he lands from a jump while he needs to create more momentum to start running down the court. Those conditions put unneeded stress on his body.
The good news is that Boozer reportedly has been working hard this off-season to prove haters wrong. CSN Chicago's Mark Schanowski had this to say about Boozer in his Beyond the Arc blog:
I saw video of him at a college game recently, and he looked noticeably trimmer. We’ve been hearing reports that Boozer’s been working extremely hard during the offseason, and he could be poised for a big second year with the Bulls.
If Boozer is in shape, he will be healthier and more efficient on the floor. If he is not doing this to prove the haters wrong, hopefully the $15 million a year the Bulls are paying him will be motivation enough.
Carlos Boozer Needs to Be More Aggressive Around the Rim
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Carlos Boozer needs to be more aggressive around the rim if the Chicago Bulls are going to take the next step and win an NBA Championship.
Many times last year, Boozer would miss uncontested layups or short-range jumpers within five feet of the hoop. These are shots the Bulls need Boozer to make, especially when teams are defensively keying on Derrick Rose.
Another area is more concerning as more athletic power forwards and centers had their way with Boozer in the post. They would overpower him with strong post-up moves and jam it home.
Boozer needs to work on being more physical down low so opposing players will think twice on driving to the hoop.
Being more aggressive around the rim would gain the respect of this hater for sure.
Carlos Boozer Needs to Show Up in the Playoffs
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While Carlos Boozer had a respectable regular season for the Chicago Bulls, he disappeared when the playoffs rolled around.
Boozer averaged 12.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 43.3 percent shooting.
Those are down from his regular season marks of 17.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 51 percent shooting.
The Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat shut down Boozer, who was so ineffective that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau benched him in the fourth quarter of Chicago's final postseason game for backup Taj Gibson.
Boozer had at least 15 points and 10 rebounds in just five of 16 playoff contests. He had six games where he scored single-digits, including a two-point showing on 1-of-5 shooting against the Pacers.
With Boozer mostly ineffective against the Heat, Miami double- and triple-teamed Derrick Rose. This resulted in Rose shooting poorly and the Bulls' offense declined.
Boozer was brought in to help the Bulls win an NBA title. Showing up in the postseason would make him worthy of his contract and silence the haters like this writer.