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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Bulls player review: Carlos Boozer

By Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Carlos Boozer
Carlos Boozer proved durable again this season, playing 79 games.

Carlos Boozer

2012-13 salary: $15,000,000 | Age: 31 | Season stats: 16.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg

Season recap: Boozer was solid for the Bulls throughout most of the season, averaging 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds a contest in 79 games. He stayed on the floor and was a consistent option for coach Tom Thibodeau. He looked most comfortable on the nights when he was the first scoring option and delivered numbers for a team that was missing offense without Derrick Rose.

Season highlight: Boozer scored 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in a surprising win in Miami on Jan. 4. What made his performance most impressive was the fact that he was locked in defensively and was diving on the floor for loose balls. It was one of the best games Boozer has played in a Bulls uniform.

Season lowlight: Games 1 and 2 against the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Boozer combined for just 14 points, 11 rebounds and five turnovers in the two games. He was a non-factor in both contests.

Final grades: Regular season: B- Postseason: B-

Notes: Boozer's biggest issue remains on the defensive end. Some nights he looks more engaged than others, but on a team that is known for its defensive effort, he remains the weak link. He has definitely improved as a defender under Thibodeau but he remains far behind where the rest of his teammates are on that end of the floor.

Quotes: "It's interesting because he's sort of a lightning rod for our team," Thibodeau said during one of Boozer's hot streaks in mid-January. "He really has played well since he's been here. He got hurt his first year which set him back a little bit, but at the end of every season where you look at where he ranks statistically he's always at the top at his position. More importantly, when you look at the wins the last two years and that's the most important thing. I think he and (Joakim) Noah have played extremely well together and he plays to win, and I think that's important."

What's next?: Boozer must remain in good shape over the summer and continue to work on his jumper. The Bulls wouldn't mind if he continued to work on his post moves, but he seems most comfortable shooting 16- to 18-foot fadeaways in games. The biggest key for the veteran forward is to come into training camp ready to run up and down the floor next season alongside Rose and Co.