Carlos Boozer can be Robin to Derrick Rose's Batman

So many failed experiments, and finally the Chicago Bulls have found their big man.

By my count, I have ten failures by the organization at the power
forward position: Elton Brand, Tyrus Thomas, Tyson Chandler, Drew
Gooden, PJ Brown, Andres Nocioni, Michael Sweetney, Lonny Baxter,
Antonio Davis and Donyell Marshall. Almost all were expected at one
point to deliver the franchise a low post presence, and every one of
them has been shown the door out of Chicago.

But things are different now. When that magical ping pong ball
revealed in May 2008, despite only a 1.7% chance, the Bulls would have
the rights to draft Derrick Rose, the search began to surround the talented point guard with sufficient help.

It's finally here.

Carlos Boozer, the same Alaskan who sent a recruiting video to Mike Krzyzewski because he wasn't receiving any attention, is the Bulls'
new $80 million answer to what seemed to be their lingering problem
over the past decade - finding a legitimate and versatile post threat.

By Ethan Asofsky and Paul M. Banks

Derrick Rose Bulls

It's something the Bulls haven't had since Elton Brand, who never
reached his prime in Chicago. Boozer is in his prime. The 28-year old
power forward is a double double machine, averaging 19.5 ppg and 11.2
rpg last year. As an ambidextrous shooter, his touch from both sides of
the basket is matched by few and he's able to use it because of his
explosion to the basket.

Elite point guards in the league such as Deron Williams,
Chris Paul, Steve Nash and Rajon Rondo typically average around 9 or 10
assists per game. Derrick Rose averaged just 6 apg last year. But
Williams had Boozer, Chris Paul has David West, Nash had Amare and Rondo
has Kevin Garnett. Having a post threat is essential for a point guard,
and Boozer's near perfect skill set for the pick and roll gives Rose
the help he will need to bump his average up near the top tier of
guards.

Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau echoed that statement.

"It starts with his post-up game, and the thing that often times get
overlooked is his ability to pass out of the post, he's a terrific
passer, so when the ball goes in and we cut, those are other
opportunities to get easy baskets, it's not just the fast-break,
sometimes it's the second shot as he's a great offensive rebounder. But
he can go away from the basket , the pick and roll game, the pick and
pop, he has great hands and can finish with both hands, also
catch-and-shoot...so when you pair him with Derrick, it's going to be
difficult to guard because you'll have to commit two people to the ball
and that opens the floor up for the rest of the guys," Thibodeau said.

Bulls fans can finally breathe easy when they see a big man taking a
mid-range jump shot. Joakim Noah's jump shot makes Boozer's mid-range
game look like Ray Allen. Pairing up with Boozer down low should open up
the lane for Noah, and not force him out of the paint as much as last
year.

However, the Bulls will have to wait to see Boozer on the hardwood.
Their star acquisition allegedly tripped over a bag and broke his
finger. Taj Gibson
will fill in as the starter until he returns. Once he does, Gibson has a
chance to make a run for 6th man of the year. Last year, Gibson made
the first team all rookie squad and now has a talented veteran in Boozer
to learn from.

After Boozer decided to come to Chicago, he recruited two of his
friends from Utah to join him. The Bulls additions of Kyle Korver and
Ronnie Brewer make them one of the most versatile teams in the league.
Korver gives the Bulls the three point threat the front office had hoped
Kirk Hinrich would develop into, and Brewer is the kind of athletic
defenseman that head coach Tom Thibodeau loves.

At Bulls Media Day Boozer compared his old point guard to his new one.

"They're both great. They have some similarities and they do have
some differences. I think Derrick he may be the most athletic point
guard I've seen maybe ever. I've seen some highlights of him that made
me think 'did he really just do that?' I saw some incredible things
playing alongside Deron for five years in Utah. They're both great
passers, great vision, scoring ability," Booze said.

While the Bulls on paper might not have the most talented team in the
East, they have the ingredients to be the most balanced team. Having
three players come from Utah brings added chemistry to a team that was
on the cusp of being an elite member of the conference.

The Bulls open the season Wednesday night against the Thunder and
although Boozer will be in Giorgio Armani threads instead of Red and
Black, it will be interesting to see how a self-proclaimed more mature
Rose will play off the sharp shooting Korver.

Many amongst the media still believe that the Bulls are a superstar
away from a championship. But Rose is the X factor. This is his year to
make that transition. If Rose can make the jump, with Boozer as his aid,
the Bulls can contend this year for an NBA championship. No more failed
experiments, Boozer is finally the real deal down low.

Much has been made in the media this preseason about how Rose has
said he wants to, and thinks he can become, the MVP of the league. Right
now, he's certainly working on all the off-the-court things you need to do to become that iconic player.

"I'm not anywhere near the Jordan brand, but just to be out there, to
be in the commercials I think you'll be seeing me a lot on television
this year," Rose said.

Ethan Asofsky is a beat reporter for the Daily Illini. His profile can be seen here. He can be reached at easofsky@gmail.com

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He is also a regular contributor to the Tribune's Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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    Paul M. Banks

    Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Former political writer for Washington Times.com, NBC Chicago.com and numerous business journals Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs. Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.

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