Why the Bulls have to stick with Carlos Boozer

By The Horns reader Tae writes: “Why is Taj Gibson not playing way more minutes? He’s outperformed his counterpart 3 out of 4 games in both ends of the floor, yet Boozer is the one still out there. Did I miss something that we reward crappy play, or did Boozer decide he’s going to take his yearly playoff break early?”

Boozer is struggling to score the basketball. There’s no denying that. In 34 MPG, Boozington is averaging 12.0 PPG on 37.5 percent shooting and has accumulated a dismal Offensive Rating of 87. Those numbers are profoundly disappointing considering he is (in theory) the team’s second offensive option.

Still, it may be worth looking past what Carlos isn’t doing (scoring) to focus on what he is doing (rebounding). Boozer currently ranks third in playoff RPG (11.5) and seventh in RP48 (16.2). He’s second in total rebounds (46) to Dwight Howard (70). And it’s worth noting that Howard is playing 45 MPG. He also ranks fifth in Defensive Rebound Percentage (25.9) and sixth in Total Rebound Percentage (18.7).

So, at the very least, Boozer is hitting the boards.

Beyond that, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is sticking with Boozer because he has to. Not because of some managerial mandate, but because Carlos is (in theory) a more potent offensive option than Gibson. It’s true that Boozer is playing poorly on the offensive end right now. That said, it seems more likely (I hope) that Carlos will break out of his slump than Gibson suddenly developing a well-rounded offensive game. At this point, Taj is mostly a spot up shooter. Boozer’s skill set is more diverse.

Now, people will argue that Boozer disappears in the playoffs, and he’s certainly not proving them wrong right now. But the fact remains that, if the Bulls are going to make any real noise in these playoffs, they absolutley must get consistent scoring (particularly on the interior) from Boozer. And benching him won’t make that happen.

Now Boozer just has to perform…

9 Responses to Why the Bulls have to stick with Carlos Boozer

  1. Inception April 25, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    with Rose ailing, tuesday night is an obvious moment for Booz to step up…show us what you got…

  2. gorditadog@aol.com'
    Gorditadogg April 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    The Pacers bigs are playing solid D and not allowing us to finish at the rim. Our bigs need to be more creative in taking it to the hole. But they also need to respect Indy’s bigs a little more and not force the shot when it’s not there- pass it back out. We are getting no calls when we force it and that is not going to change.

    On defense we need to play tougher and take our fouls. We have plenty of depth, we don’t need to save our starters. Get out and play D for 48 minutes for Chri’sake.

  3. scott.atherley@mail.mcgill.ca'
    ScottA April 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Boozer’s gotten hit with a lot of soft offensive foul calls too; seems like it’s making him try to avoid them, which he can’t afford to do (not enough height or athleticism; he has to use his size).

    Also, he’s not even avoiding them successfully. Maybe he needs a better strategy then his foul-yell? Or, maybe diving would help – hate to suggest it, but it seems to be working for Indiana.

  4. Noah's FT Arc April 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    hey boppinbob remember when you said joakim should play behind taj? kinda lookin like it should be your boy, boozer, as the 6th man now. haha boozer is such a wimp, if he’s havin trouble with hansborogh what are we gonna do when he’s got to face brandon bass or josh smith???

  5. admata1789@gmail.com'
    Adam April 26, 2011 at 1:40 am #


    As always very insightful analysis. You didn’t need to do Tae that dirty. Or never-mind, you did.

    Moving along to Boozer now… My thoughts about his recent slump are now more worrisome than when I posted this on the 19th…

    “I think they either sweep the Pacers, or maybe a gentleman’s sweep (win the first 3, give them a game, and win it in Chi-Town for their fans.)”

    … I still think the Bulls are going to give them the gentleman’s sweep, but now I worry that it may not be a slump at all but due to a lingering injury that you pointed out…

    “I can’t shake the feeling that sprained ankle is still bothering him (his lift has disappeared)”

    … so to sum it up, I’m not worried about this series or the next if it is merely an offensive slump, but if it is a lingering injury then I think the Bulls are screwed. Starting Gipson is definitely not the answer as you pointed out. There is no answer if it’s an issue with Booz dealing with a lingering injury.

    If it is an offensive slump, Boozer should still start to shake it off and if Thibs can stop being so stubborn maybe he can change his starting lineup to feature Kyle “hot sauce shooting out of his freaking mind” Korver instead of Bogans. That would open up the lanes for Rose and make it easier for Boozer to get some easy shots.

    Thoughts about starting Korver?

  6. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath April 26, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    ScottA — It appears that he gets away with some good veteran shoves under the basket, too. I swear half the time he gets a rebound, there is a Pacer that is picking himself up off the floor… hehehe.


    I think that is part of the frustration, he is not taking advantage of the status he has worked so hard to establish. He is on the cusp of the player that ‘gets the calls’ and he needs to stay there for us to really stay over the top.

  7. yomomma@hotmail.com'
    Scottie Pimpin April 26, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    boozer is struggling no doubt, but i think he needs to be the first option out there, hes got everything u want in a PF, inside game, midrange, good passer and most important hes a monster on the boards, rose needs to slide off to 2nd option (thats one helluva 2nd option by the way) until the 2nd half or 4th quarter. rose hardly goes to the pick and roll with booz, that money in the bank in my opinion.

    booz doesnt even have to play defense that much, he can wear his man down just by bangin him on offense, if he can just play some decent position defense, and the rest of the guys play better team defense we should be alright.

    maybe im the only boozington fan left , but i got faith in CBooz the Bull.

    Just Win Baby !

  8. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath April 26, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    I still like him and would prefer him to be on the team. He rebounds well and talks a lot of mess in a way I appreciate, I guess. It is so funny how he always has to have his hands all over the ball. The other team will be shooting free throws and he has to grab the ball and check is out before giving it to the ref.

    He cracks me up. But, he cracks me up more when that teardrop is falling.

  9. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life April 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm #


    I will give you 80 plus millions why the Bulls will start boozer, not to mention he has been hitting the boards hard. Boozer will be fine I am gonna go on record and say this.the only thing these Bulls need to do is get back to basics and keep there game simple.

    Rose will be fine just need more play from the rest of the supporting cast and our coach needs to game basics what got his team this far thus far.

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