Taj Gibson has played 21 more minutes in preseason than Carlos Boozer. In those 21 extra minutes, he's scored 29 more points, grabbed eight additional rebounds, has seven more blocks, and four fewer turnovers. He also happens to be shooting 20% from the field more than Boozer.
Boozer does have nine assists to Gibson's two, and Boozer's spent more time against the opposing starting lineup than Gibson as well. That said, so far in preseason, it looks like Taj Gibson's the better offensive option, and we all know he's the vastly better defensive one.
Will Taj continue to knock down his jumper at a career best efficiency rate? Probably not. Will Boozer continue to have fairly pedestrian offense? Quite possibly so. One thing is for certain, Taj will destroy Boozer on defense.
Maybe due to egos, we keep things the way they are. Maybe Carlos Boozer becomes the new Kieth Bogans. He's a starter in name, but he won't play any important minutes. Not the way Gibson's playing at any rate. Taj Gibson suddenly looks like a two way player. While he's still not as smooth as Boozer and lacks a bit of his shot creation, his energy, athleticism, and ability to play within himself are creating better offense overall.
I'm not as big a Boozer hater as many, I think he's about six million dollars a year overpaid, but if Boozer was making eight million, he'd be a valuable offensive oriented role player rather than the guy who's paid too much and is viewed largely as a defensive sieve.
You know where the Bulls could use an offensive role player? Coming off the bench, playing with Kirk Hinrich who has a nice rapport with Boozer and feeds the post well. The Bulls don't have a whole lot in the way of offense coming off the bench, but if Boozer was put there, then they might help rebalance their first and second units.
Taj Gibson also figures to play better along side Derrick Rose where his athleticism and hustle will get him more opportunities when the Bulls push the ball, and he's more equipped to put back Rose misses at the hoop when the defense collapses.
Boozer fits in better with a team that's going to try to run more offense through him, slow the pace down, and feed the post. Sounds like something better suited to play along side Hinrich to me.
Beyond the fit, at this moment, Taj is simply playing vastly better basketball, and if he keeps it going the Bulls need to expand his role well beyond the low 20s minute totals he's had the past few seasons.