Carlos Boozer has practiced his first practice with practicing results. Quote The Beard, “My hand felt pretty good, and I’m getting better and better which is all I can hope for.” And with that, the Bulls medical staff cleared the Bulls top free agent signee. “I’ve got my protective glove on. I thought I had a pretty good day at practice.” I see, the staff cleared a player after his first full practice with a “protective glove.” Though cleared, Boozer is playing it cautiously, “When my hand’s ready,” the power forward pondered, “It will be my decision.” And with that, Bulls fans hold their breath. Will it be tomorrow night?
Regardless, the debutant looks like he will have his coming out party for the Bulls in one of the next few games (please by Friday’s Boston game – I hates them, I do). Thus, the question being pondered is: How will he impact/jell with the lineup?
The first concern seems to be with Taj Gibson’s role with Boozer presumably starting (Boozer on coming in and starting, “I hope so. I better. That’s what I came here for.”) Obviously, this is a pleasant problem for everyone, with the possible exception being one Taj Gibson. Yet, Taj has always been a team player and one to go with the flow. Add to this that he has been battling with plantar fasciitis in his young career and struggled to stay healthy on the Circus Road Trip, and this does not look like much of a problem. Also, with Boozer out, Deng has had to fill in on the power forward spot. With The Beard back in, Tom Thibodeau said that it is Deng’s minutes that will most likely be reduced. Seeing as Luol has been banged up over the last few season, this looks like another benefit for your Chicago Bulls.
The other main concern is how Boozer will mesh with Derrick Rose. The thinking here is that Boozer is primarily an offensive player and – if you have not watched a game this season – Derrick Rose has looked rather comfortable carrying this team’s offensive load on his back. It is assumed with The Beard’s presence, Rose’s scoring will go down. Much has been made of Rose’s snub of courting LeBron James in the off season and his “Why can’t I be MVP?” talk. Will we start to see some of Rose’s ego come into play when his scoring average (second in the young season with 26.6/game) will most likely dip with the addition of Boozer? My guess is that with Boozer in the lineup, the Bulls will see more comfortable wins, and winning is usually a panacea. Plus, Rose’s assists rate is usually considered low (8th in the league, thus far), and Boozer’s presence will most definitely push this stat upward.
The only other legit concern I have come across is how The Beard will mix into the offense. This concern is unfounded, as the Bulls offensive system is very much like the Jazz pick-and-roll setup. Quote The Beard, “I think it will be real easy. I’ve been playing pick and roll for a long time. I look forward to it.”
This is the moment Bulls fans have been waiting for since July and the time is nearly here. The concerns look to be trivial and I cannot wait to see what a healthy Boozer adds to this already promising team. I think it will go a little something like this: