Well, well and well! Isn’t this something? It looks like the “Legion of Booz” is starting to get a little bit of creditability going into the postseason. I mean this cult following has caused quite a stir in the less than two weeks of existence. Let’s take a look what has happened here. The movement has gone as far as Japan, we have our own Bulls fan that is totally against the movement (more on him later) and we have even set off the talented contributing writer and social media expert of Pippen Ain’t Easy Ashley Wijangco. What do we call this Booz-a-holics? Let me tell you…success! As the Executive Advocate of the “Legion of Booz” I have this to say…we can’t stop now. We have to continue to get the message out if the Bulls REALLY want playoff success. The message is…The Bulls need Carlos Boozer if they want to win. The last order of business that we had to deal with was the criticism of Tom Thibodeau with the power forward rotation system that he has going on. Naturally that brought out a comment of a Bulls fan that I have gotten acquainted with over the last few months. His name is Leroy Boyd.
With the exception of immediate family (Mom, Pop, three kids and wife) Leroy Boyd is my favorite of the Pippen Peoples. He is one guy that keeps me on my toes. Guess what Leroy. You were my inspiration to start the “Legion of Booz”. I remember a few weeks back the Bulls got beat and badly. Carlos Boozer was the best player on the floor that night scoring 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Leroy asked if I had watched the game. Let me answer…yep! NBA League Pass is a wonderful thing. For six months out the year, I can never say there is nothing on TV. Then I thought, if Leroy Boyd is this passionate about Boozer and how he plays, why not create a group that shows how much the Chicago Bulls need him in the playoffs. Hence the “Legion of Booz” was born. Thanks Leroy, love you man. By the way, I would love to be Carlos Boozer’s agent. The money would be good plus the hours are a little bit better. But Rob Pelinka has done a great job in Chicago this side of David Falk. Now that the nostalgia is out of the way…down to business.
As we all know, the Chicago Bulls handled their business defeating the Orlando Magic 108-95. This keeps the Bulls in the running for the number three seed in the Eastern Conference standings. As of this writing no one knows who the opponent will be for the Bulls in the first round. Again it must be said that the Bulls are tied with the Toronto Raptors as of this writing. However the Bulls will lose the tiebreaker based on the fact that the Raptors are the Atlantic Division champions. The Bulls still can get the third seed but two things must happen.
1) Chicago has to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.
2) The Toronto Raptors must lose to the New York Knicks.
PLUS let me add one more thing. Carlos Boozer has to be more involved the Chicago Bulls game plan. If you are new to the Legion of Booz movement, please read the last report talking about the game plan of Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. There were concerns that were brought up that I felt as the Executive Advocate should have been voiced. Let’s see how the concerns were handled shall we?
1) Carlos Boozer needed to be established early in the offense.
The first point that was brought up was that Carlos Boozer needed to be established early. Well Carlos went out and scored 10 first quarter points to help the Bulls get out to a 26-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. Now here’s the caveat that people seems to miss. Boozer had 12 rebounds in the game. That means he was aggressive and engaged in the game. Was he a lock down defender. NO! He’s never going to be a lock down defender. He won’t be this weekend either. But what did he do Pippen Peoples AND Booz-a-holics. what did he do? He got the Bulls off to a good start offensively. The Bulls led the Magic pretty throughout the game and Boozer’s ten first quarter points was the catalyst to that. It really is amazing how that third ranked defense is effective when the team scores like they are NOT the worst ranked offense in the NBA.
2) Carlos Boozer’s aggressiveness helped his teammates get easier baskets.
Let’s talk about Mike Dunleavy for a minute. I have said this time and time again. Mike Dunleavy is a X-factor for this team. If he shoots over 50% from the floor in a given game, the Bulls almost NEVER lose. Dunleavy led the Bulls in scoring with 22 points on 8-11 shooting. This includes 3-5 from the land of the extra point. What does this have to do with Boozer? Well when he comes out and scores early, that means the offense gets into a rhythm which leads to proper spacing for all of his teammates. Joakim Noah scored 18 points and could get his offense going. Noah is going to have to space to run the offense at the high post. If Boozer’s shot is falling like it was against the Magic, that means someone has to pay attention. Look what it did for Jimmy Butler. Jimmy shot very well and showed he can score without launching three-point shots every five minutes. Butler scored 12 points on a very efficient 3-5 from the floor and 6-7 from the free throw line. Tha means he was inside the three point line being aggressive. Offense is a beautiful thing when it works.
3) And all of this in 32 minutes! Imagine that!
Oh, so Carlos Boozer CAN play more than 32 minutes. The game was in hand in the 4th so he was sitting by then, but that was for a different reason. Carlos Boozer played a solid floor game that impacted the Chicago Bulls as a whole. He finished the game with 13 points. He also collected 12 rebounds and had five assists. That means he was involved in the offense when he was on the floor. He had five fouls so that means he actually gave some effort to trying to play defense. He must have done something right if he dipped into Taj Gibson minutes. Usually Gibson has 28 minutes a game. Against the Magic he had 20 minutes. Am I saying that this should be the norm? No! I’m saying if Carlos Boozer is playing well and making a positive impact on the game. Reward the man with more minutes.
I recommend everyone follow Leroy Boyd’s lead and get involved with this debate throughout the playoffs. Believe it or not, he is one of my greatest inspirations going right now. This website is not going to work without fans commenting their opinions. I’m not always right about analyzing the Bulls but in my opinion I’m nothing but a sports bookie making an educated analysis based on what I see. Leave your comments on our website Pippen Ain’t Easy. We’ll be definitely reading them throughout the playoffs.