Eric Roberts and his trip to rehab are overshadowed in the news by a big story for Bulls fans. Carlos Boozer the newest member of the Chicago Bulls finally returned to the lineup in his first games played since back when he was a member of the Utah Jazz. Debuting on a team that has been in first place in the weak Central Division of the Eastern Conference, he is adjusting to a new team and a new system and has certainly shown some rust, but also some promise at least on the offensive end. Interestingly, the team lost its first two games with Carlos Boozer in the lineup but rebounded to win the third as he poured in 25 points; most of them in the paint where they desperately need help as a team.
Derrick Rose has New Target
With the addition of Carlos Boozer, point guard Derrick Rose, possibly one of the most underappreciated young star players in the league, has a new target for the team's offensive sets and a new weapon for other teams' defenses to key on in the half court. Having a legitimate offensive player down low could open things up for Rose and reduce the number of double teams he has to shake off to get his game going offensively each night. It is interesting to see a player of Rose's caliber fail to get the positive recognition heaped upon point guards like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, and even now Russell Westbrook. With a mate like Boozer who used to run with Williams at Utah, perhaps Rose can start to gain some of those same accolades outside of Chicago.
The addition of Carlos Boozer ought to be a big plus for the team even if it appeared to take a step back initially while the player and the team have adjusted early on. Part of the problem may be that Coach Tom Thibodeau inserted his new power forward immediately into the starting lineup as soon as he was cleared to return, with fans viewing on TV at home watching him eat valuable minutes in the game in between commercials urging people to buy car insurance online and other advertisements. Carlos Boozer is going through the equivalent of the preseason right now, though, and Thibodeau may be thinking that he needs to be out there to get these kinks worked out early on. Besides, it appears as though the Bulls are by far the class of the Central and that they are probably going to end up with at worst a four seed when the playoffs begin, provided everyone stays healthy.
Carlos Boozer Injury Controversy
There has not been much talk as of late about the broken hand that sidelined Carlos Boozer for the preseason and the start of the regular season. It was quite the matter of controversy at first as the team and their new star tried to work out the real story of what had happened and how Carlos Boozer had really broken his hand. Now the focus is on the season in front of them, a season in which as of now any team in the East's top four can certainly make a run at the finals.
Carlos Boozer looks ready to contribute to the Bulls and one thing that will be instructive to watch will be whether Thibodeau proves true to his defensive reputation and molds his star forward into the defensive stopper that he is certainly capable of being. If Carlos Boozer can become a force on the defensive side of the floor the way he is already a weapon on the offensive end, he will prove worthy of the contract the Bulls gave him.