With the exception of practices, neither Taj Gibson nor Carlos Boozer has played alongside Derrick Rose since April of 2012. However, with the Chicago Bulls‘ star point guard set to make his preseason debut and first NBA appearance in a year and a half, Boozer and Gibson have both been preparing to once again play with Rose. It has been reported that both power forwards have arrived at training camp in great shape.
Boozer showed up to training camp looking like he lost a considerable amount of weight as he says that he wants to be lighter on his feet now that Rose is back. Boozer anticipates that the return of Rose will result in a fast pace offense with a heavy emphasis on the fast break. Boozer, who will be entering his 12th season this year, has aged a bit over the past few seasons. His athleticism seems to have been fading which has had a negative influence on several aspects of his game such as running the floor and finishing at the rim. However, it appears that he was very dedicated to getting in better shape this offseason and will be ready to run with Rose and the Bulls this upcoming season.
Taj Gibson, on the other hand, has put on weight this offseason as he reportedly added 15 pounds of muscle this summer. In addition to adding quite a bit of muscle this summer, Gibson has also been working on a three-point shot which would be new to his arsenal. Gibson, who scores most of his points in the paint, said both the coaching staff as well as Rose wanted him to work on his outside shot. If Gibson can indeed develop a three-point shot he would become much more valuable as he would help spread the floor and open up the driving lane for Rose.
There are very high expectations in Chicago this year, as this Bulls team could very well make a run deep into the playoffs. With that being said, it is very nice to see that both Boozer and Gibson have made changes in their game as well as their bodies in anticipation of Rose’s return. It is believed by many that this Bulls team will go only as far as Derrick Rose will take them, but this goes to show that Boozer and Gibson are also doing their part to try and contribute to what could be a championship run in Chicago this season.