Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t play Carlos Boozer much in the fourth quarter of games because… well, Thibodeau likes defense. The combination of Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson plays better at that end of the floor late in games. Boozer only is in when he has a clear interior matchup advantage.
Boozer doesn’t like that, he wants to play more, and he said so in a professional way recently.
Still, Bulls general manager Gar Forman wished Boozer wouldn’t have aired the team’s dirty laundry in public, he said at an event as reported by CSNChicago.com.
“I’m disappointed that Carlos didn’t keep that in-house,” Forman said. “I think we’ve seen Tom does a terrific job managing guys’ roles, managing their minutes. In that situation, Taj has played very, very well.”
I can understand why Gar is frustrated, but Boozer has handled his frustrations with his role professionally, in my opinion.
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It is expected that the Bulls will finally use their amnesty provision on Boozer this summer, freeing up money to go after a free agent (whether that is Carmelo Anthony or someone else remains to be seen).
If/when that happens it will be interesting to see what the market is for Boozer — he can certainly still get you points and boards inside (14.7 and 8.5 a game this season), he’s solid and professional, but he’s not as efficient as he once was and at this point he is a quality role player. Not a guy worth the $16.8 million he is owed next season (although if he is amnestied he still gets that money, the Bulls just have him come off the official books). Boozer is going to be a guy much closer to the league average deal when he goes for his next contract.
Nikola Mirotic will be out 4-6 weeks due to his concussion and fractured jaw.
Bobby Portis has been suspended for the first eight games of the season for causing those injuries to Mirotic with a punch at practice.
What does this mean for a Bulls locker room that was already going to have to deal with the weight of losing a lot of games. I get into all these questions in this latest PBT Extra.
It’s going to be a long season in Chicago.
Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.
There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.
Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.
Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.
The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.