Not too long ago, Carlos Boozer was a dominating force on offense in the NBA. With his strength and footwork in the paint, it was almost impossible for opposing teams to guard Boozer without a double-team. But those days are long gone for the 11-year pro out of Duke University.
When the Chicago Bulls signed Boozer in the summer of 2010, they thought he would cure their low-post scoring woes that they’ve had since Elton Brand and Brad Miller played for the team in the early 2000s. For the most part, Boozer did live up to the hype in his first season with the Bulls. He averaged 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists. And Boozer did all of this while shooting 51 percent from the field. His numbers were a little down from his previous season with the Utah Jazz, but nonetheless, Boozer was solid.
Fast-forward to the current 2013-14 season. Boozer seems like a shell of what he once was just four years ago, and is seeing less playing time with each passing game. Bulls forward Taj Gibson is out-performing him on both ends of the court and normally plays over Boozer in fourth quarters. Boozer’s numbers are also down across the board, averaging just 13 points and eight rebounds per game.
But if the Bulls have any chance of defeating the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers or even the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs, they need Boozer to tap into his former self. Boozer’s main problem is that he’s no longer unstoppable in the paint. He tends to settle for 15-foot mid-range jumpers, and when Boozer’s shots aren’t falling, he is almost worthless on the court due to his inability to defend.
Boozer has to go back to what made him so successful early in his career — playing with his back to the basket and posting up. There is still life in Boozer, and if he can give the Bulls more points in the paint, it would make life easier for a team that averages the fewest points in the league.