Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bulls [Print without images]

Thursday, May 9, 2013
Stacey: Boozer has to get involved

By Staff

Carlos Boozer needs to revert to his first-round series form if the Chicago Bulls have a chance to get past the Miami Heat, Bulls television analyst Stacey King said Thursday.

After averaging 17.4 points and 10.6 boards against the Brooklyn Nets, Boozer is averaging just 7.0 points and 5.5 boards in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat. Game 3 of the tied series is Friday at the United Center.

"You have to get Boozer involved," King said on "The Carmen & Jurko Show" on ESPN 1000. "Boozer has to get himself going.

"And sometimes it's not about scoring. Yeah, the Bulls need you scoring if they're going to win this series. But it's the little, bitty things when your offense game is not going, the hustle plays, the hustle rebounds, the offensive rebounds, the defensive rotation. Those are the things you've got to do, and when you're not scoring, and you're not doing any of those you really can't be on the floor."

After averaging 40 minutes against the Nets, Boozer is averaging just 24.5 against the Heat.

"You can't give up on him, because he can score 30 points and get you 10-15 rebounds," King said. "But where he's really struggled is not having Kirk Hinrich in the game, because Kirk really does a great job of getting him in space, getting him the ball where he can operate.

"I think they have to run more pick-and-rolls with him and let him after he sets the pick either pick and pop or put the ball on the floor and attack."

Hinrich is considered day-to-day with a calf injury.

Boozer's shooting percentage also has dropped dramatically in this series, from 55 percent vs. Brooklyn to 30 percent vs. Miami.

"The difference right now," King explained, "is Carlos has success against those tall, lumbering guys like Brook Lopez, but sometimes he has a difficult time against the long, athletic guys like Chris Bosh, (Chris Anderson) and those guys who are tall but also can move, where his strength, which is his speed against the bigger guys, is negated by guys who are just as quick.

"He has to find a way to get himself going. They need him to score. They're not going to win this series if he doesn't score and play better. Period."