Thibs: Foul Trouble Made Boozer 'Tentative' in Game 1; 'He Can't Play That Way' (Video)

Thibs: Foul Trouble Made Boozer 'Tentative' in Game 1; 'He Can't Play That Way' (Video)

Carlos Boozer only played short shifts in the Bulls Game 1 victory over the Pacers due to foul trouble. Tyler Hansbrough, his counterpart, had a great shooting game, but Tom Thibodeau refused to scapegoat Boozer -- correctly blaming the team defense.

"The big thing is, Carlos didn't guard him the entire game," Thibodeau said. "So we didn't do a good job. Our team didn't do a good job. And then you have to look at how he got those points. Was it a result of breakdowns, people not doing their job? I would say it was a compilation of things, and we got to do a much better job on him." 
When asked of his foul trouble at Sunday practice, Boozer said: "I think any time you get in foul trouble, it changes your perspective of the game a little bit. It changed mine, too.

Thibs added: "I thought [Boozer] was very aggressive -- early. And then, his foul trouble made him tentative and he can't play that way. I fhe gets fouls, he's gotta' stay aggressive. When he's aggressive, he's very good."

Boozer had a high 35.1 usage rate, but only 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting and 1-for-5 at the rim to go with only six rebounds because the fouls limited him to just over 26 minutes of play (Hoopdata).

"Boozer scored eight first-quarter points but played just 90 seconds in the second quarter, when he drew his third foul," K.C. Johnson reported (Chicago Tribune). "His fourth foul limited him to 5:35 in the third."

Kyle Korver added that the Bulls need to get him the ball more and I've never been shy to say that you can't give a low-post ninja like Boozer the ball enough -- as he makes great decisions with moves to the basket and hitting basket cutters with pinpoint passing. More important, he'll be more likely to re-post and reset better positioning if he's confident the ball will come back to him.

If they're going be a more efficient offense, Korver said, the pick n' roll will need tightening.
"We can help him out gettin; him the ball in spots where he's more comfortable," Korver said. "Not just jumpshots early, but pick-and-roll and that one-dribble bounce pass; getting him in the middle of the lane doing this thing. He's a real emotional guy. Getting him going early can help him out."
I just it's getting overdue to not blame Derrick Rose's limited court vision for the Bulls lack of pick n' roll dominance. After using picks, the defenses follow his eyes because he never passes to the open man on the blind side or rolling to the basket. When he does, it's after too many dribbles or holding the ball so long that help is arriving to make up for the pick-setter's defender trapping Rose.
No question that Boozer needs to back down smaller players instead of all the facing up he's been doing. And there's no question that many of his layup attempts need to be dunk attempts. But it's uncontroversial that Rose holds the ball way too long after using picks -- especially when you consider that Deron Williams' early career was largely made by Boozer PNR excellence.

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