Blog Entry

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:46 am
Edited on: September 2, 2010 10:48 am
Bulls new forward thinks they can compete for a championship, this season.
Posted by Matt Moore

The NBA is extremely elitist in terms of contenders for its championship. Versus the NFL, where 20 fanbases or so are going into next Thursday night's opener thinking if everything goes right for them, their team can bring back the Lombardi, and fifteen of those are actually being reasonable, in the NBA that list is about four teams.

The Lakers, obviously.

The Celtics, naturally.

The Heat, you'd have to say.

And if you're feeling generous, the Magic. They did make the Finals two years ago after all.

But is there a fifth team? Is there another team that could challenge the mountain, overcome it, and achieve what Ninja Warrior describes as "total victory?" What about the Bulls?

Carlos Boozer is here to tell you they are right in the mix for the NBA championship. When asked about the Bulls' goals for the upcoming season, Boozer told ESPN Chicago:

"A championship," he told on Wednesday night after a Nike House of Hoops event. "I think a realistic goal for us is a championship. I think anything shorter than that we're setting ourselves up to be shorter than what we can reach. I think [we have] potential to be a championship-level team."

Well, then, Carlos. Don't hold yourself back. Really put yourself out there. There's no question that the Bulls have improved significantly from the team that was one-and-done'd by the Cavs and Celtics the past two seasons. But to be a championship contender in the East among all the powerhouses that now exist? Most striking is that essentially Boozer's attributing the team that the Bulls had last year, plus himself, along with Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, to be the difference in the 8th seed and a championship.

If Boozer's going to have that kind of impact, it's probably important to compare this team to the Utah Jazz team that Boozer's been playing for when uninjured for the past few seasons. The Jazz have been a great team, well coached, disciplined, versatile, and effective. They even made the Western Conference Finals in 2007. Of course, that was primarily on account of them landing Golden State in the second round following one of the most shocking upsets in NBA history. How does this Bulls team stack up with the Utah team that's been plugging away (and getting swept out to the sea by LA) the last few years?

Derrick Rose is a phenomenal talent on the rise, one of the best point guards already. In Team USA play, he's shown off an improved jumper to go along with his superb quickness and touch. But is he better than Deron Williams? Hard to argue at this point. Rose's ceiling is certainly equal with, or possibly superior to Williams, but Williams is considered by many to be the best point guard in the NBA (with apologies to co-owner of that title, Chris Paul). Williams' defense is phenomenal, using his size and reach to harass opponents, and his all-around offensive game is nearly unstoppable when he's healthy.

Joakim Noah is probably the biggest upgrade for the Bulls over Boozer's Jazz. Versus Mehmet Okur, who is primarily a perimeter shooter, Noah is a workhorse down low, plowing whatever needs plowing on both sides of the ball. He's emerged as a top center in the league, though he's far from the top of the class just yet. Luol Deng may be an improvement over Andre Kirileko, depending on what you're looking for, but Deng's inconsistency is just as maddening as Kirilenko's injury problems. And new additions Brewer and Korver were members of that same Jazz team. Hard to argue they're significant upgrades now.

Which brings us to Boozer. The resume is certainly there on paper. 19.5 ppg, 11.2 rbg, 56% from the floor, PER of 21.3, which is up there with Brandon Roy and Steve Nash. His playoff stats are even higher. So why is it then that he's never been considered among the elite in the NBA? There are those that say that his stats can often be empty, and that he is unable to make the same impact on the game as his peers in that regard. But the numbers don't lie. However, there is something about Boozer that seems to indicate there's a piece missing. That's partially why he was brought into Chicago to be the secondary option behind Rose. It's simply hard to see how this cast of characters will dramatically alter things in a top-heavy East just because of his acquisition.

Of course, this is all based around individual assessments. For a more accurate picture, we need to look at the system as a whole. And that leads us to a more promising look. Boozer provides Rose with a capable pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop partner, as well as a low-post scorer he can turn to. While Boozer's interior defense is nothing to write home about (he allowed a 46% FG% in the post last season), Noah can help with that due to his size. His passing ability should help the offense funnel the ball to its new shooter, Kyle Korver, and his leadership should not be discounted. The Bulls as a team look incredibly strong.

But are they a championship team? With the Celtics, Magic, and Heat all in their conference, meaning they'll have to get through at least two of them most likely in the playoffs, the Bulls have to measure themselves against those teams. And while it's certainly reasonable to be excited about this season, the firepower of those other teams has to lead you to believe Boozer may want to scale it back a bit. Only way up is through, though, I suppose.


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2010 2:15 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

Yeah, I think they are a 4 or a 5 seed.  Happy with the moves they made, considering that the top 3 FAs all went to Miami.  Boston is on the way down but still good enough to make a run or two before they run out of gas.  Miami and Orlando are scary, but we are pretty deep so who knows.  But like you said, what do you expect Boozer to say.

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: September 8, 2010 1:46 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

I don't know if they are a title contender just yet, but they are definitely upgraded from last year and look to move up a tier in the NBA. With Cleveland out of the mix and Bogut out for the Bucks for at least the first month of the season, they have a great chance to get an early lead and momentum in the division. Noah and Rose are great young talents. What Noah lacks, he makes up for with determination and effort, a sort of rarity now-a-days. And Rose is looking to become the best, or close to, point guard in the league as some other guys are getting older, slower and their teams are losing their dominance (spurs, suns...) and with a big, experienced guy like Boozer, they definitely have a presence and optimistic outlook. I have to pick the Bucks cuz they are my team, but the Bulls probably have a better chance to win the division, and it should be a good battle between the two for at least a few years. I can see the playoffs for both teams and the gap between them and teams like the Celtics closing this year and disappearing in the years to come.

Since: Jul 16, 2010
Posted on: September 8, 2010 1:27 am

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

With the Lakers adding Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, and Theo Ratliff, they only got better. 3 in a row is a lock, unless there are drastic injuries. 
Chicago improved, and I'd like to see them go to the ECF but they are a 3rd seed at best and I don't see them beating Miami, Boston, and Orlando, or 2 of the three.
But really, what else is Carlos Boozer supposed to say?

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2010 11:24 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

Agree, that Heat lineup is superior- but can they play 48 minutes- no, the Heat spent it all on the superstarts, the backups are at best the 7-8th best "bench", chicago goes much deeper now and the question is - can the Heat starters get a 20 point lead that the bench won't lose in the 4-5 minutes a quarter they are resting?

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2010 7:24 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

LMAO at redwings 1969.

Yes I watch a variety of sports.  The last two years I've purchased the NFL Ticket and NBA Pass with directv.  Yes, teams win on the field and not on paper.  I got that one.  Patriots vs Giants comes to mind with that one.

Wade and the Heat made the playoffs with little talent.  LeBron and the Cavs made the playoffs with talent.  Not as much as everyone thinks.  Most websites have the Cavs out of the playoffs.  Sure with James going to the Heat you would expect a drop.  But for the most part everyone thought LeBron had enough talent to win a championship.  Now that LeBron is gone that same talent can't even make the playoffs.  So I guess it really wasn't that much after all.

All teams will struggle.  Injuries are killer and if one of the BIG 3 go down it will hurt the team.  Injuries hurt every team

All I'm saying is that the Bulls have improved with the addition of Boozer.  But if LeBron stayed with the Cavs I think the Cavs would still win a series against the Bulls.  Wade/LeBron/Bosh will be a hard matchup for anyone.  This is my thoughts and feelings.  it is what it is.

Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2010 1:17 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

The Heat are not the deepest team in the NBA, but they are certainly deep enough to sustain an injury to any of theri three stars. Of Course, they will not win a championship without them in the lineup come playoff time, yet that describes most teams in the NBA. The lakers are not going to win without a healthy Kobe and Gasol, the Magic are done if Howard goes down, and I am sure Chicago is done the moment Boozer or Noah gets banged up.

To say the Heat are not deep enough to make a playoff run is absurd. They put together a much better team than many expected and all teams rely on their stars come playoff time. Last year was the perfect example. The Lakers were supposed to beat the Celtics in anywhere from 4-6 games, yet it was the Celtics that had the team to push it to game 7. Had Perkins not been hurt, perhaps we'd be talking about a different story. You need your starters in the playoffs and if the Heat get there with their starting five, goodbye eastern conference competition.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:59 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

Michigan/Ohio.  I know you're a huge Heat fan but do you even watch basketball?  Or any other sport for that matter?

Championships are not won on paper in the NBA, they are won on the court and nowhere else.  You are assuming that just because the Heat have the most talent on paper they can't lose in the playoffs to the Bulls.  But if you've followed the NBA and other major sports as long as I have you know that anything can happen and not everything is always as it appears on papers.

The Cavs won a lot of games the last couple of years and the Heat aren't going to win that many more then the Cavs did.  Yet the Cavs got beat pretty handily the last 2 years in the playoffs.  You can say that on paper the Heat are better then the Cavs were with Lebron but nobody predicted them to lose the way they did the last 2 seasons in the playoffs.. nobody except for maybe haters, but their analysis isn't worth a nickel.  So if the Cavs lost.. so can the Heat....

There are so many scenarios that can change things in a heartbeat in the NBA and in this case the Heat's season.  What if one of those guys is hurt or playing hurt come playoff time?  What if one of them get into foul trouble here or there and another struggles shooting the ball?  What if the team never gels with all that talent and egos that exist?  What if they can't handle the pressure? I could go on and on but if you think the Heat are going to win it all so easily you're nuts.... nothing short of insane actually.

The pressure on the Heat might be more then anybody can handle this year.  Lebron is under more pressure then ever before and that isn't good considering how much he struggled in the playoffs with the Cavs against teams that won a lot less games then his team did. 

Bosh hasn't played one meaningful game in his career in Toronto yet, at least not in comparison to this.  He had no pressure in Toronto at all. He was loved, respected, idolized and nobody cared if he won because they knew the Raptors weren't good enough to win it all.  Other teams didn't have to worry about Bosh as much and at times let him put up points.. they knew if they shut down the rest of the players on that team Bosh couldn't win it all himself.

Big season coming up.... and trust me, the Heat will struggle at times.... wait and see.

Since: Jul 11, 2010
Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:14 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

Boozer "thinks" is the key word. He never said we are going to win the Trophy.

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: September 7, 2010 11:52 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 1, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2010 10:45 am

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

Kish21 you talked about the luck the Pistons had in 1989. That was not luck the Pistons beat the lakers in LA and at home in the regular season with both Magic and Scott playin. Scott did not play at all in the Finals, but Magic played the first game and most of the second. It was unfortunate they got injured. Your a Lakers fan so I guess you choose to forget how the Pistons owned you'll that year. That was the Pistons year and Scott or Magic wouldn't of made a difference.

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