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The power of (and problem with) Booz

(won't be my last 'booze' pun)

Wasn't able to catch the Celtics game (watching the 'tape' as I write this, actually) but seeing that the Bulls were blown out there (following up the blowout loss to Orlando), and needing overtime to take out the Rockets means that this Boozer integration is indeed a work in progress.

That win over Houston on Saturday night did show what Boozer can bring, finishing with 25 and 9 in a little over 30 minutes. And after two straight games of being dominated up front (won't call those losses 'statements', as the Bulls will, more importantly, be better later this year. But it's tough to see how they'll rectify the problem of Noah getting pushed around by larger centers) they were able to control the glass against the Rockets. Though, they're the Rockets: as we know in seeing our own Brad Miller era, board-domination will happen (though Miller was obviously playing out of his mind in other areas of the game on Saturday).

(Also nice, Taj Gibson's second half, and having such a performance available off the bench now)

Boozer's impact was especially important at the end of the game, in a situation where otherwise Rose would've been all by his lonesome in trying to pull out the victory. Instead, there were times where Rose ran into trouble but had a bailout option in Boozer, who'd either hit a jumper or get to the line (having 10 FTAs on the night). Alongside Noah, Boozer also contributed in getting key offensive rebounds down the stretch.

But why, then, was that Rockets game still close, needing an improbable 3 from Rose to even send it to overtime? In some ways it was just an odd game with two teams having played the night before. Brad Miller hitting way too many 3-pointers, Kevin Martin having a nice second half getting the Bulls into the penalty, and the Rockets in general doing a great job of, ahem, embellishing off-ball contact. But a lot of it also had to do with the Rockets going right at Carlos Boozer defensively. He once again showed poor decisionmaking (or perhaps even effort) on defending the screen/roll. And he still gives up way too easily when guarding his own man, fouling instead of letting the team defense work. Between him and Korver (who played well against Houston as well, though oddly only 1-7 from three while 4-4 from inside the arc) that really seems like a Utah thing.

And speaking of the former Jazz on the team, I'm now past the patience stage when it comes to getting Ronnie Brewer in the starting lineup, and Keith Bogans out of there. Bogans can't be a '3-and-D' player when he's shooting 27% from 3, and barely attempting enough shots to keep defenses honest. Obviously, starting Korver, and not Brewer, would help the 3-point shooting. But, while Brewer wouldn't be a classic floor-spacer, his movement off the ball would at least force defenses to pay attention. And especially considering how Boozer's defense has been lacking thus far, I don't think the Bulls can afford to start a statuesque Korver at the off-guard alongside him. I also like the idea of keeping Korver in his role of being an offensive focal-point when out with the second unit, he can run around screens and create shots instead of merely standing in the corner. Either way, he and Brewer would be playing some more minutes, and the lack of a starting job would mean Bogans would barely play at all, which is the true benefit of such a move.