This is not what the Chicago Bulls need from one of their veteran, core players. They do not need any turmoil or problems in the middle of the season as they fight to stay in the middle of the Eastern Conference. Starting power forward Carlos Boozer is frustrated and let it be known that he does not like the lack of time in the fourth quarter. He is usually game on what goes on and doesn’t complain, but this time he sat out the whole fourth quarter in the game against the New Orleans Pelicans and isn’t happy about it.
Boozer told ESPN Bulls writer Nick Friedell in a recent interview that he is boiling over of lack of playing time and would like to play more down the stretch. This has been going on for the last few years and coach Tom Thibodeau prefers backup Taj Gibson down the stretch. Gibson plays the type of defense Thibodeau loves because Boozer is a very mediocre defender. Now that Gibson is improving by leaps and bounds offensively, it seems that Boozer is very expendable.
Many fans don’t mind Boozer on the bench in crunch time. He has never won over the fans ever since he became a Bull. Many have always felt he is overpaid for the lack of production and consistency. There is some truth to that notion, but Boozer is a good player. He can score in the post and has a reliable jump shot. He is a very good rebounder and a solid teammate. But his lack of defensive attention and effort has always irked the fans and Thibodeau.
Boozer lashing out his frustrations towards Thibodeau is sort of a surprise, but he may be feeling the pressure of the possibility of being amnestied. The Bulls could decide to use the amnesty clause on him this summer, but that decision is hard to predict. Boozer just has to finish out the season and stay professional for the Bulls to succeed.