Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer is currently saddled with turf toe and sat out practice on Friday and Saturday. Despite the extremely painful injury, Boozer will apparently try to play in the opening game of Chicago’s second round series against the Atlanta Hawks tonight.
Boozer participated in part of Chicago’s practice on Sunday, doing some shooting and his movement was improved. He will try to give it a go tonight. Boozer told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune “It’s very painful but it’s the playoffs. If I can be out there, I’m going to be out there.”
The oft-injured Boozer struggled through the Bulls first round series against the Indiana Pacers. In five games this postseason, Boozer has averaged 10 points and 10.2 rebounds in 30.4 minutes, but has hit just 35.8 percent of his shots from the field.
Boozer was also a disappointment during the regular season after signing a five-year, $80 million deal in the offseason. The 29-year-old was on the floor for 59 games and averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds in 31.9 minutes. Those averages are down from last year’s line of 19.5/11.2/34.3. Additionally Boozer’s field goal percentage (51 percent) is down from last year (56.2 percent).
Boozer has never been a solid defender, putting him at odds with the rest of his teammates and coach Tom Thibodeau’s philosophy. One wonders if he has ever really fit in with the squad. Sure, his numbers aren’t horrible but he’s suffered injuries and certainly hasn’t played up to his contract.
Playing through this injury and stepping up and improving his on-court performance could be a way for Boozer to prove his worth.