clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

As Jazz fans 'welcome back' Boozer, how does a Bulls fan feel?

Jazz fans have a beef with Carlos Boozer, and SLC Dunk is already getting it on with the retrospective (ht to Tim S.'s fanshot, it went out a hero). It's fairly damning, though emphasizing some off-court (and really unprovable) aspects which makes me less worried.

(I'd like to get into the similarities of Ben Gordon leaving and the fan reaction thereof, but Ben Gordon was a saint so it was tougher than I first thought...)

Not that I hadn't heard from the Utah faithful about the on-court deficiencies of Boozer as well. It's been pretty noticeable since first getting acquainted to him as a Bull, the guy isn't a good defender. In the wake of some bad team defensive performances punctuated by this 2-game losing streak (seems silly to type, actually)  Kelly Dwyer lays it on the guy Nic Batum didn't mention:

The world is slowly getting wise to Carlos Boozer's terrible help defense, and while it hasn't completely cost Chicago two road wins over the last three days, it certainly hasn't helped.

The Bulls power forward doesn't move, defensively. His defensive rebounds help a team's bottom line, but he's an apathetic help defender, and an absolute liability in terms of pick and roll defense, rotations in the paint, or in terms of guarding big men one-on-one. And I write all this before even really thinking about LaMarcus Aldridge's dominant 42 points on Monday night. Derrick Rose still needs help off the ball, defensively, but it is Boozer that is the real mitigating factor on that end for Chicago.

Boozer's an interesting flashpoint for this Bulls team in the big-picture sense. He was a quality free agent signing, but not the best possible. He's good, but flawed (found these two observations on the 'little things' he does interesting), with his prior team not too upset to let him go and their fans not losing sleep over it either. He's been known to feast over the course of a regular season only to wilt against the strongest (and more accurately, longest) of opponents in the playoffs.

Maybe the Bulls, at least in their current incarnation, are a similar as a whole. And while I can save the really big picture take on Boozer's age, his prime, the Bulls true championship window and the Org.'s urgency regarding it, the short version of what it means this season is seeing a team that may be very good but not good enough. I've been pretty happy about Boozer's production thus far in his initial Bulls campaign (a PER>20 don't lie), but maybe in a few years we feel the same way about Boozer the Jazz fans do: good production, but needed to be better to get the team to the very top level.

On the other hand, the Bulls relationship with Boozer does portend to have some advantages over what went down in Utah. And with all things lately, it starts with the impending return of Noah. The Bulls have proven to be more than capable defensively as a team even in Noah's absence (worry over getting fat on a soft schedule aside for now), and logically they're good complements on that end, with Noah masking what Boozer lacks. Certainly a better chance of such happening than when the Jazz started Mehmet Okur next to Booz.

And whatever ancillary issues Boozer had in Utah with his contract, free agency, in-house replacements, and position within the team pecking order should all be less apparent in Chicago. He's paid, seems content, and we're not sick of him yet. Though, maybe if another 'bag-tripping' incident happens that chapter will begin...