Perfect time for peak performance

May, 13, 2011
5/13/11
12:46
AM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ATLANTA -- Yep, Chicago fans are tough all right, the media unforgiving. And we've all been hard on Carlos Boozer, who proved Thursday night in Game 6 why we were right.

When Boozer is the player he can be, the player he was brought to the Bulls to be, the player signed to five seasons for $80 million, the Chicago Bulls are a legitimate contender for an NBA title.

"We're 10 times better," said Taj Gibson after Boozer's best playoff game as a Bull.

Coming just in the nick of time, Boozer's game-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 10 rebounds and five assists played a huge role in vaulting Chicago into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1998 with a convincing 93-73 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

Read the entire column.

Melissa Isaacson

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for espnW.com, ESPN Chicago and ESPN.com. The award-winning writer has covered Chicago sports for most of her 31-year career, including at the Chicago Tribune before joining ESPN in 2009. Isaacson has also covered tennis since 1986.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5