If you were to look at NBA news right now, you would see stories about the dominance of the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder. There will also be stories about “Lob City”, Ricky Rubio-mania, and the impending demise of the Dallas Mavericks. There aren’t a lot of stories about the team that had the best record last year and Chicago Bulls fans have no problem with that. The team is on a mission to make a trip to the NBA Finals and that goal rests on the broad shoulders of Carlos Boozer.
Boozer is probably the third most important player on the Bulls. Derrick Rose is the defending MVP and the Bulls are a ship taking on water without him. Luol Deng is the glue of the team, playing over 40 minutes a night and setting a defensive tone for the team. As far as title hopes go? The key player is the much-maligned free agent signing from last off-season.
Boozer drew plenty of ire last year for poor performances last year. Some Bulls fans wanted the team to use the amnesty clause on Boozer. However, the Bulls can’t win a title without Boozer playing at his best. So far this season, Bulls fans have gotten the entire Boozer experience. There has been dominance and there has also been the urge to run out onto the court and strangle him.
The Carlos Boozer that showed up Sunday night in a 104-64 victory needs to show up every night. Bulls fans will take 17-11 from Boozer every night. Heck, he doesn’t even need to do that. Just the threat of Boozer in the post opens up the offense. Not only did Boozer look good on offense, he actually played a little bit of defense as well. He won’t be great at defense, but passable defense from Boozer is a lot better than the matador defense he played last year.
Right now, the best thing for Bulls fans is to get Boozer some confidence. Last year was a tough year for him. With a halfway decent Boozer, maybe the Eastern Conference Finals turn out different last year.
Don’t sleep on the Bulls this season. A healthy and confident Carlos Boozer will keep Chicago in the thick of the title race down to the very end.