About a few days ago, one of my good friends forwarded me a blog post Sam Smith wrote about Carlos Boozer, suggesting Bulls fans may be expecting too much from him, where Carlos Boozer would be a double-double guy, only if he was given more minutes. As of late, Carlos Boozer sympathizers have been defending the embattled Chicago Bulls forward who is going through more scrutiny than any Chicago athlete as of late. However with each passing day, with each player Carlos Boozer fails to defend on a defensive rotation, and with each time where Carlos Boozer does not produce versus good teams, Boozer sympathizers give the excuse of, "he is who he is" or "we knew he was never a good defender". In a city of blue collar workers whose work ethic grew Chicago to be one of the most famous and renown cities in the world, lack of effort should not be taken lightly, or made excuses for.
I'm not buying it... I'm not buying it for one second.
What particularly grinds Chicagoans more about Carlos Boozer is not so much his play on the offensive end (or lack thereof) but more-so his defensive effort. As avid basketball fans know or those who play should know, in order to become an effective team defender, it is takes more effort than skill. None can be more evident than Carlos Boozer's teammate, Kyle Korver. Similarly, Kyle Korver was given the same notion as a "not so good defender" like Carlos Boozer but as Korver's time with the Bulls progressed, so has his defense. Assessing Carlos Boozer vs. Kyle Korver's effort defensively is as opposite of night and day. As Korver quickly moves to the right spots and corrects his mistakes, Carlos Boozer fails to rotate and gives a half-hearted effort on other power forwards who try to challenge him.
Sure Carlos Boozer wasn't given a $14.4 million per year contract for his defensive ability but fans just might turn a blind eye if he were to give a significant impact on the offensive end... against good teams. If only the Bulls played the Phoenix Suns (who Boozer scored 31 points against) every day, Boozer would be an All-Star, maybe a first ballot Hall of Famer. This month of January, the Bulls have played versus 7 teams over .500 (ORL, ATL - 2, MEM - 2, IND, and MIA). So far, Boozer has scored more than 15 points only twice against those 7 teams; averaging 13.4 points per game (season average - 15.0)
Don't forget yesterday's matchup versus Miami, Boozer only scored 10 points, 9 rebounds, 1 dirty look from Joakim Noah after another failed defensive rotation and additionally failed to get to the free throw line. You read that correctly, Carlos Boozer, who plays the Power Forward in a position which arguably gains more contact than any position in the NBA, failed to shoot a single free throw versus our number one rival.
Folks, Carlos Boozer is playing like a dog and he shows to not have any desire to break out of this slump. He may score 20-25 points tonight versus Washington but he wasn't given a $75-$80 million contract to play like an All-Star versus the likes of the Washington Wizards or the Phoenix Suns. As Carlos Boozer continues to steal money from the Chicago Bulls organization, don't make excuses for him and say, "he is who he is" because that is accepting mediocrity. As a Chicago Bulls fan who aspires to see the Larry O'Brien trophy raised in June, mediocrity is the last thing you should accept.