Chicago Bulls starting power forward Carlos Boozer has a lot riding this season. This could be his last season as a Bull, because they have the opportunity to amnesty him after this season. The Bulls will be contenders and will be relying on Boozer to deliver even more, but can he live up to these high expectations?
When Carlos Boozer’s name comes up among NBA circles, fans and media, the feelings about him are mixed to say the least. Boozer is an extremely talented player, but fans in general want more. Boozer is highly criticized because of the massive contract he signed with the Bulls back in 2010. I believe some fans are too unrealistic with their expectations of Boozer. He is very productive, averaging 16.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in three seasons with the Bulls. Those numbers would be considered very good for other players, but for Boozer those numbers are average.
Boozer brings many intangibles to the Bulls. He is a very efficient mid-range shooter for a power forward. He knocks down baseline jumpers at will when given room. He is a solid rebounder and this helps the Bulls have a massive advantage on the boards against most teams. Lastly, Boozer is a team first guy. He’s always encouraging and instructing teammates on the court. His teammates seem to love him; when he was benched at the end of some games, there he was cheering instead of complaining and whining. That has to amount to something about Boozer’s character.
Boozer does come with some flaws and weaknesses. He has never been known as a defender. Fans get so irritated with his flat footed approach and players scoring at will against him. That is why coach Tom Thibodeau benches him in the 4th quarter in favor of backup Taj Gibson. Also, Boozer could be a better low post scorer. He has the size and strength (6-foot-9, 260 pounds) to dominate that aspect of the game, but he chooses not to. He has a bundle of moves when he establishes low post position. He can bully or go over the top of his defender with a quick spin move and a fade away, high arching shot. He just doesn’t go in the post enough.
As much as fans critique and disapprove of Carlos Boozer, he will be an integral part of the Bulls. He is a solid veteran to have in the locker room and he takes immense pressure off the other players. Bulls’ fans have at least one more year of Boozer, so you either love it or hate it.