01 December 2010
What will Boozer's return be like? There will be a slight adjustment period, but probably nothing too major. Boozer has already declared it "Rose's team" and that's not something most free agents that sign 5-year, $80 million contracts are willing to do. Scottie Pippen believes Boozer's return will "continue the positive energy." I don't necessarily buy into cliches like that, but I guess it's possible. What I do buy into is 20-and-10 from the first legit big man since Elton Brand. That's what C-Booz can do for the team.
Boozer also boosts the team's depth, which was thin at the start of the season. There was a 3-man rotation of Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Omer Asik, and foul trouble could stretch the team to Brian Scalbrine or James Johnson at the 4. With Boozer, you add 30+ minutes of All-Star caliber play, and take away time from Gibson, Asik and use it to give Noah an extra breather or two. This is not to say that Gibson and Asik didn't play well in Boozer's absence - I think they're better when minutes are limited. Asik is one of those guys that can impact a game for no more than three minutes at a time - more than that, and you're going to get a diminished return. Gibson has been stretched thin, and is banged up, missing time in the last few games. The addition of Boozer can help Gibson rest his foot, and get back to 15-20 strong minutes.
On the defensive end, I don't think Boozer is as good of a defender as Gibson, but I think he helps on the glass. With Boozer and Noah, the two will combine for 25-30 rebounds on some nights. It's difficult to believe that the Bulls can possibly improve on the glass, as they are #2 in the league behind Kevin Love, but it's possible. They lead in rebound differential, at 5.16 rebounds more than opponents.
Sam Smith asks a good question - Do you wait for him to be 100% without any soreness or doubts? But with the team banged up, do you put him back in the starting lineup when he's needed?
|< Prev||Next >|