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: Sep 6, 2010
Posted on: September 6, 2010 7:55 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

bulls might make it. they do have noah,deng,boozer,and rose.

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: September 6, 2010 4:05 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

sorry for the typos--my phone is crap for typing

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: September 6, 2010 4:04 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

I agree that it is a reach to say championship this year--but the things that stnad in the way--Celtics and LA-- are being overshadowed by Miami adn NY supporters...tell me this about both of those teams: How does their bench look? How does their system and coaching look? how does the chemistry look?
I hate LA, but they are by far the deepest tema in the league now...but I honestly think that Miami will end up being a "what not to do" story--htey have no bench, no cap space, no draft picks and 3 players that will have to play 40+ minutes a game....that looks bleak--fun to watch but by season's end either exhaustion or a single injury and they are back to 40 game winners...

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: September 6, 2010 12:06 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

LeBron James beat the Bulls last season in the playoffs.  So the Bulls add Boozer big deal.  James joined forces with Wade and Bosh.  The Bulls are going to be a better team but so are the Heat.

But I hate to say but Rose will NOT be guarded by both Wade and James.  And even when Rose is double teamed it won't be by Wade and James.  

Who is going to double LeBron?
Who is going to double Wade?
Who is going to double Bosh?

The Heat also have depth.  Wade or LeBron will always be on the court.  With House and Miller behind the Arc they can drive and kick the ball out for the 3.

I like Noah and his style of play.  I also like Boozer and they should help each other out.  But even if LeBron stayed with the Cavs the Bulls wouldn't be a team that would worry me. 

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: September 5, 2010 11:17 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

You really discredited yourself when you put Deng in as the Shooting guard, not the small forward, which is his actual position. Another thing to note which proves you have no idea what your saying, Brewer will be starting over Korver, at the shooting guard position.

In your match up of the bulls vs miam Your taking the positions and putting them side by side not who would be guarding who and where. And in doing so you you dont let the bulls biggest advantage over them shine through which is there depth and flexibility.

Rose will be defended by wade and james, chalmers will never get a crack at him. This will allow Rose to tire out lebron or wade respectivley. While when he is on defense he sits in a corner "guarding" mike miller on the 3pt line. So you have to put Roses production relativley = to wades, and ofcourse brewer relativley = to chalmers. (Brewer is probably better, but wade is at this point better then rose so we will make the backcourt a tie)

Lebron vs Deng Deng is actually a fantastic defender. I wont hit home the point you have no clue what your talking about when you talk about the bulls. you already showed that when putting him as an SG. Still he cant compete with lebron. But he can make him work for his shot, and hopefully with an improveded offensive system with a good coach in thibedou, and also being the "third fiddle" which is where he needs to be. He can make lebron work a bit on the defensive end. Also James Johonson should come in and provide deng with valuable rest while lebron is on the court. how he will provide this is by being overwieght and having the right to six fouls, even if he uses them in three minutes.

Front court

This is why the bulls can beat the heat right here.

Boozer doesnt have to stop bosh, and he wont. But Noah will be on him like white on rice. Noah will work him over when bosh has the ball. I dont no how Miam will do there defense vs the bulls. If they want bosh attempting to learn how to play defense, and guard boozer,  but there starting front court will look really weak vs the bulls. Zydrunus or bosh cant guard Boozer And zydrunus will not want to handle Noahs energy on the offensive glass, thats why he had varejo in clevland.

All in all though besides deng your right rose cant defend brewer cant score. boozer cant defend noah cant score. But thats actually perfect , wade is getting older he will be exhausted guarding rose then getting guarded by brewer

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: September 3, 2010 10:27 am

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

I see what you are trying to do here, and it's noble.  And I do agree the Heat and Celtics, are better than the Bulls.  But some of these one-on-one comparisons are terrible.

Saying Ilgauskas has the edge over Noah is tied for the stupidest thing I've heard on these boards in at least a year.  (tied with some dork that said Austin Jackson of the Tigers was a hall of famer after 300 at bats in baseball, but I digress).

Also, Kyle Korver is NOT THE STARTING SG!!!  It is Ronnie Brewer, who, by the way, is one of the best defending SGs in the NBA.

And Detroit sucks.  They won't make the playoffs.

So nice effort, but FAIL.

That said, I put the Bulls at about the 4 or 5 seed in the playoffs next year.  Then the following year, more like a 2 or a 3 (by then, they'll pass the Celtics but not the Heat or maybe Orlando)

Since: Sep 3, 2010
Posted on: September 3, 2010 9:44 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: September 3, 2010 12:59 am

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

Hmmm. OK, Carlos, I know you're obviously high on your new team, but let's take stock of the situation here, shall we? In he Eastern Conference, there are four locks for the postseason - Miami, Boston, Orlando and Atlanta. Then you have the teams that (assuming they stay relatively healthy) SHOULD be in the mix - Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, Charlotte, MAYBE even New York. And yes, that includes Chicago. So let's look at the roster, shall we?

Point guard: Derrick Rose. Can slash, pass, penetrate. Still learning to shoot and play defense. 

Shooting guard: Luol Deng. Can slash, score. Can't play defense, stay healthy.

Small forward: Kyle Korver. Can shoot lights out from anywhere on the court. Can't play defense.

Power forward: Boozer. Can rebound, score. Can't defend, block shots.

Center: Joaquim Noah. Can rebound, defend, block shots. Can't score.

So the scorers can't play defense and the defenders can't score. Hmmm. Doesn't really sound promising. Especially when one realizes that the Celtics hang their hats on defense and the Heat are going to try to outscore their opponents. If we match up the Bulls against the Heat, things look like this:

Point guard: Derrick Rose versus Mario Chalmers. Advantage Bulls, except that Chalmers won't really be the point - that will be either Wade or James. 

Shooting guard: Luol Deng versus Dwyane Wade. Advantage Heat.

Small forward: Kyle Korver versus LeBron James. Advantage Heat.

Power forward: Boozer versus Bosh. Wash - neither can defend the other, though Bosh might give Boozer slightly more trouble than Boozer can give him, simply due to his length. 

Center: Noah versus Ilgauskas. Small advantage Heat since Ilgauskas is a better scorer than Noah, but Noah is a better rebounder and defender. 

However, overall, the Heat simply have too many advantages over the Bulls at too many positions. Now let's look at the Celtics.

Point guard: Rajon Rondo versus Derrick Rose. Wash - Rose is a better scorer, but Rondo's defense and rebounding make this closer than you might think.Shooting guard: Ray Allen versus Luol Deng. Allen may have lost a step, but he is still one of the purest shooters in the league. Deng is a better finisher, but this is an advantage to Boston.Small forward: Kyle Korver versus Paul Pierce. Big advantage for Boston. No way Korver can defend Pierce.Power forward: Kevin Garnett versus Carlos Boozer. Boozer's offense is probably trumped by Garnett's defense. MAYBE a slight advantage for Chicago.Center: Joaquim Noah versus Shaq. Advantage Boston. 
Overall, I would say the Bulls match up a little better with the Celtics than with the Heat, but in neither case would I expect Chicago to win more than one or two games in a seven game series. And the Bulls do not match up any better against the Lakers - the likely representative for the West in the Finals. They have no answer for Kobe or Gasol and past history has shown that Boozer is helpless against LA's towering front line. So this is some good red meat from Boozer for his new teammates, but it is simply impossible to take seriously. The Bulls have improved, but they would have to be the beneficiaries of 1989 Pistons-type luck (eg. the opponent's entire backcourt goes down with injuries) for them to be serious contenders. Eastern Conference playoffs? Surely. Eastern semi-finals? POssible, though they would have to get a very favorable matchup. Anything further? Highly unlikely.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2010 5:30 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

The Bulls are not just about who they added in the offseason, although they added the perfect pieces. They are also about continured growth from Rose, Noah and Gibson. And no one has even mentioned Luol Deng, who was everyone favorite sleeper star-in-waiting a couple years ago. Kobe Bryant himself said he wanted to come to Chicago and play with Deng. The Bulls nixed (stupidly) a potential Kobe trade because the Lakers wanted Deng. That guy is still on the team. He's had issues staying healthy, and clearly isn't the toughtest guy in the NBA, but he's a capable scorer that no one is even talking about.
Rose, Brewer, Deng, Boozer and Noah starting. Wakins, Korver, Thomas and Gibson off the bench. This is a deep team (deepest in the league) that can play D, score inside and outside, and rebound. In fact, they were the top rebounding team in the league last year and just added Carlos Boozer. The Bulls might not win a ring next season, but this core will win one soon.

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2010 12:51 pm

Boozer thinks Bulls are championship caliber

I don't think the bulls are ready for a championship but the key i think is that their best player is 21 unlike the celts(2 years and dismantling except rondo), heat(its their time but i think d wade is done in 2-3 years) and orlando(howard is 24, so he'll be around). by 2012, i think boozer can make this claim but for this year, the central division crown would be solid accomplisment.

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