Perhaps Carlos Boozer will pull more of his weight with the Chicago Bulls this season, given that he’s lost quite a bit of it from his body.
GM Gar Forman Sunday at Media Day: “Carlos came into camp 20-plus pounds lighter. He’s in great shape.”
Maybe the improved conditioning will make Boozer that true second banana that Rose sorely lacked last year. Booze gets paid like a star, but he didn’t live up to it during his first season in Chicago. He missed the first 20 games, which isn’t too big of a deal because that’s how we rolls-usually. The Bulls know how injury prone he is when they handed him an $80 million contract.
It’s what happened when he came back that was so disappointing.
We know Boozer doesn’t really play defense so it’s imperative that he achieves higher scoring and rebounding numbers. In short- he didn’t deliver, especially in the playoffs. But it was admirable how he played through the pain in the postseason. He production left a lot to be desired, but you have to give him points for heart.
The fact that he devoted himself to weight loss is a good sign. I asked him if he made any changes with nutrition and conditioning:
“I was able to get healthy first and then got in the gym, on the track, ran the beach, did Cross-Fit for a little very intense, did a different kind of stretching exercise, but for the most part I was able to get into the gym and feel no pain, and really get to work,” Boozer said at media day.
That’s got to be a good sign for the ROI on the Bulls 5-year deal with Booze. When it was signed last summer, I thought it was a great deal at the time, but might start to look a lot like the albatross deal the Chicago Cubs signed with Alfonso Soriano on the back end. And let’s face it- the deal didn’t look so hot in the playoffs either.
But with a renewed vigor for conditioning, he should be less of a depreciating asset than I anticipated. So I Boozer can indeed become that legitimate second option. Who will be the third piece? You need at least two, if not three key ingredients to cook up a NBA title these days.
We a few days to find out, the free agency and trade period is in full swing. Boozer talked about how attractive a destination Chicago is for free agents.
“I think it’s high on the list for the guys that want to win, they see who we are as a group of guys and they want to be a part of it, they’ll probably have us on the list of teams they want to go”
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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