It’s been rough on Carlos Boozer these last couple of games. On Thursday night, he was thoroughly outplayed by Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and on Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he went without a field goal and scored just two points in nearly 27 minutes on the floor.
Bulls fans have long maligned Boozer for his play in contrast to the $80 million contract he received from the team in 2010. His last two games have added even more fuel to that fire.
So the question is this: What the heck is up with Carlos Boozer?
TNT television analyst Reggie Miller had some choice words Thursday for Booz in regard to his defense on Ibaka in the loss to the Thunder. Saturday’s contest marked the first time since 2003 that he’s played an NBA game without a field goal and the first time since March of this year that he was held to just two points.
“The ball is just not going in for him,” Tom Thibodeau told ESPN Chicago in support of his starter. “He has experience. It will come around. We just have to be patient. He is rebounding well. When you are not shooting the ball, we expect you to do other things to win. He is running the floor and setting picks for us. He came up with a couple of loose balls at the end of the third quarter that were really big for us.”
These things would all be passable if Derrick Rose were on the court, but for a team without a marquee player or go-to guy on offense, the Bulls can’t have one of their starters come up short on the offensive end. Especially not one as highly paid as Boozer.
But Thibs is right, basketball is a funny game and there are stretches when everyone goes into a slump of some sorts. The good ones almost always find a way to get themselves out of it and this logic also applies to Boozer who is a very good player, just not the player he once was.
Fans have already lost patience with him and Taj Gibson’s recent contract extension almost assures that Boozer won’t be wearing a Chicago Bulls uniform for much longer. He’s a great locker room guy and individual, but when you make as much money as Boozer does, there are certain expectations that come along with it; expectations that he has yet to live up to.