Boozer Experiment Not Working for Bulls?
The reality for the Bulls is that when all the chips are down and they need a solid performance from their $75-million dollar power forward, he doesn’t come through. That was the case again against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6. (Carlos) Boozer went just 1-for-11 from the field, scored just three points, and was benched for the entire fourth quarter. The performance caps an up-and-down two-year tenure for Boozer that has had more lows than highs. It also reinforces the fact that the Bulls are not going to be able to win a title – even when Derrick Rose and Luol Deng eventually get healthy — as long as Boozer and his bloated contract continue to lay an egg in the biggest games.
As hard as it will be for Bulls’ management to accept their fate this season given all the injuries the organization endured, what might be most jarring is the realization that the Boozer experiment has not worked.
Bulls’ executives were confident Boozer would turn things around this season. He came into camp in great shape, played every game this season and became arguably the team’s most valuable player during the regular season. His defense still left a lot to be desired, but at least there were flashes of better rotations at times. Boozer, after all, heard the criticism throughout the summer, and he wanted to show he was worth that mega contract.
Teammates, coaches and executives went out of their way to defend Boozer throughout the year. After dealing with several injuries last season, he finished the year with a painful turf toe injury that, it was argued by his defenders, was the root of his struggles in during the 2011 postseason.