Going into this offseason, backup center Nazr Mohammed and the Chicago Bulls knew what he was worth. He wanted to play and contribute for a contender, so it did not take long for the 15-year veteran to make a decision and re-sign with his hometown team.
Mohammed was not used much last season. He played in 63 games (12 of them starts) and averaged only 2.6 points and 3.1 rebounds. If you look very closely at those numbers, they are very pedestrian.
However, Mohammed was not brought in to dominate games and put up huge numbers. He was signed to be a veteran leader and a capable backup to All-Star center Joakim Noah.
Even though Mohammed was used sparingly in the regular season, he stepped up in the playoffs. With Noah limited with plantar fasciitis, Mohammed had no choice but to contribute. He did not put up huge numbers, but his leadership and intangibles was needed.
One of his best highlights in the playoffs was when he got tangled up with Miami Heat‘s LeBron James and shoved him to the floor. Mohammed was ejected for his actions, but he sent a message that neither he nor the Bulls was going to be pushed around.
Mohammed enters this season with some expectations. He will probably see more action this season as the Bulls plan to limit Noah’s minutes.
This will help both Mohammed and Noah throughout the season. Mohammed is one of the better reserve big men in the game. He can knock down shots, play some defense and be an enforcer when teams try to bully the Bulls. That’s all the Bulls will ask of Mohammed, and he is happy to be back playing in his hometown.