Booz-a-holics we have a problem here. No it wasn’t the second half of Friday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons. The first half definitely was a problem but there is larger issue that will rear its ugly head in the playoffs. That issue is based on the hard-line stance of the minutes allotted to Carlos Boozer who for the last 10 games has played exactly 24 minutes no matter how well he plays. Carlos Boozer along with DJ Augustin held the Bulls afloat offensively until everyone else came to the party and was essential in keeping the Bulls within shouting distance of Detroit. Is The Legion of Booz saying that Taj Gibson should have sat down? No. But we are saying based on how well Boozer was playing he should have gotten more time. Let’s break it down shall we?
1) Carlos Boozer was hot…REAL HOT!
I fully believe that I have some type of grasp in the rules of basketball. I tend to look at it with some type of common sense. But I’m a tad bit confused. Isn’t the first important thing that has to happen in a basketball game is to score? Let me check my research here..yep, the team that scores the most wins the game. Okay. Did you know that Carlos Boozer missed two shots? Period. The whole night. Here’s his line, Boozer shot 7-8 from the field and hit four of his five free throws. All in all, he scored 18 points in 24 minutes before the street light came on. Oh by the way, he found time in his scoring schedule to grab seven rebounds too. I’m one of the guys that believe that you should ride the hot hand. Easily his field goal percentage was higher than everyone else by a country mile. Give the guy more minutes. Every game does not have to be the same. If he’s stinking up the joint, sit him down. If he’s hitting his shots like he did against Detroit, he needs to be rewarded.
2) Carlos Boozer was engaged and aggressive.
Look I will be the first to admit that when Carlos Boozer is out on the floor to be a Power Forward model and look pretty, he tends to float on the perimeter and shoot 17 footers all night. Against Detroit he cut to the basket looking for his offense. He took a couple of strong drives to the rim and actually finished. I have said this before Pippen Peoples, the Bulls need to get Boozer involved early in the offense. Get him in an offensive rhythm early by running a few plays with him in the post. If you give him some touches and hopefully games like this one against Detroit will happen during the playoffs. As a team, The Bulls came out flat. Carlos Boozer did not. That should count for something. If the Chicago Bulls claim to need this guy to get out of the first round, they are going to need to put him in situations where he can succeed. Did he play good defense on Friday? Umm…no. But if you are going to look for Boozer to turn into Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson after all these years, you probably think Geraldo is going to find Jimmy Hoffa this week. That special will on Tuesday at 10:00 after the O’Reilly report on the Fox News Channel. Tune in! I’ll say it again, put Boozer down on the block in the low post. If he can get started early he command a double team. Hopefully he can open space for the outside shooters because…
3) The Bulls are a perimeter team that can’t shoot. (Other than that Augustin guy)
I noticed a very disturbing trend against the Pistons on Friday. The Bulls take a lot of outside jumpers. The Bulls shot an anemic 28% from the field in the first quarter. Teams don’t tend to shoot that badly missing lay ups. The Bulls had a masonry convention throwing up bricks in the first quarter. I’m noticing that the Bulls are starting to fall in love with the three-point shot. The Bulls as a team shot 5-19 from the land of the extra point. We all need to understand that Mike Dunleavy went 3-5 from beyond. The rest of the team…2-14. Ugh! DJ Augustin went 1-4 BUT he started to take his problems inside and took the Detroit point guards off the dribble. I wish he would pass that memo to Jimmy Butler who shot 1-7 from the three-point stripe. With Joakim Noah running the offense from the high post, there needs to be a presence in the low post. Hello Carlos Boozer! Here’s a thought, use him. If he’s in the post he gets active early and maybe he’ll be energized as long as he’s on the floor. If not, Hey Taj!…Get Booz! Seems reasonable.
The Legion of Booz got a comment from a reader in Japan. First off, thank you for spending time at Pippen Ain’t Easy. If you have read the articles over the last few months, we do not take any of our Pippen Peoples for granted. Not one. The reader was concerned that The Legion of Booz was going to be a bash session for the rest of the Bulls. I would like to say, no it is not. If any player on the team stinks, they get called out for it. This does include management. The Legion of Booz was created to shine light on the fact that maybe Carlos Boozer is NOT getting a fair shake in Chicago. Maybe he was put in a position to fail. We here at The Legion of Booz are here to investigate.