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While the Miami Heat and New York Knicks were making waves last season, a big move got lost in the news, as Carlos Boozer was signed to bring an offensive presence to the paint in Chicago.
The results were very mixed, as Boozer had some great moments and some bad ones.
When he was on, he brought an energy to the team that was unmatched by any other team. If he was making shots and playing solid defense, the Bulls were without a doubt the best team in the NBA.
When he was off, the energy was lacking for the Bulls. They were still able to play better than most teams in the NBA and are a playoff team without him, but a fired-up Boozer is a difference-maker for this team.
Boozer is really the player that the Bulls will live and die with this season; if he isn't able to stay healthy this season and become a consistent player, the Bulls will likely be where they were last season: a deep playoff run but nothing to show for it.
If Boozer comes in motivated and ready to prove all of his doubters (and there are plenty of doubters) wrong, then the Bulls are going to be among the favorites to win a championship this season.
Backup: Taj Gibson, Brian Scalabrine
If Boozer plays uninspired ball this season, Tom Thibodeau will not hesitate to put him on the bench, leaving a lot of playing time open for Taj Gibson.
Gibson is a starting-caliber player and plays some of the best defense on the team. When he is paired up with Joakim Noah in the paint, it is nearly impossible for teams to score inside.
He has spent a lot of the offseason working on his game and looks to be in great shape, so it's hard to see him not taking a big step forward and forcing Thibodeau's hand and earning more playing time.
Unfortunately for Bulls fans, Gibson can't sit on the bench forever, and he deserves to start somewhere. As long as Boozer is in the picture, it's hard to see Gibson in the starting role. The Bulls could use him as trade bait, as most teams won't want to take on the big contract that Boozer has.
As for the White Mamba, there isn't enough that you can say. He is the emotional leader of this squad, and fans get up on their feet and cheer whenever he gets in the game.
It's impossible not to get hyped when you see him get on the court and Stacy King goes crazy, as he said the other night: "The man, the myth, the legend, the White Mamba, ready to strike."