Many expected that when partnered with point guard Derrick Rose, Boozer would be a force rolling to the basket. But entering Friday, Boozer was shooting just 45.9 percent from the field as the roll man in the pick-and-roll (according to video tracking by Synergy Sports Technology). That was bad enough for his second-worst shooting percentage in any play type this season (he rated worse in isolation plays).
NBA Best Records Since Dec. 4
Friday in a 90-81 win over the Nets, Boozer enjoyed one of his most successful games in the pick-and-roll. In four plays as the roll man, Boozer contributed three field goals and six of his 20 total points. That included a baseline dunk over Travis Outlaw in the third quarter.
Boozer is one of the more efficient post scorers in the halfcourt. Of all players with at least 50 shot attempts, he ranks fifth in the NBA in points-per-shot in the post.
But as Friday’s performance in the pick-and-roll shows, Boozer is still growing with his new teammates.
Even as he's growing, the Bulls are 12-2 since a loss to the Boston Celtics, posting the third-best record in the NBA during that time. Only the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have been better. Boozer has regained his All-Star form and been one of the more dominating players in the NBA. In those 14 games, Boozer is averaging 22.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and is shooting 56 percent from the field. He has nine double-doubles, including seven games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The other statistically-interesting story from the NBA's early New Year's Eve games was DeMar DeRozan's monstrous second half in a 114-105 loss to the Houston Rockets. DeRozan had 29 points in the last two quarters, tied for the fourth-most by any player in any half this season. Kevin Martin's 32-point first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 11 tops the list.
BudingerDeRozan finished with 37 points, but the Raptors were outscored by 14 points when he was on the floor. The more valuable effort came from Houston's Chase Budinger, who scored 22 points, and was plus-27 in 24 minutes off the bench.
Budinger has had two straight strong efforts, this one surpassing the last one against the Heat, when he registered 11 points in 16 minutes, and a plus-12.