Bad and injured is no way to go through playoffs, Carlos

I was sorry to hear about Carlos Boozer’s injury.

Because I was hoping he had been benched for stinking it up again.

Get a load of this line from Game 5 of the Bulls’ playoff series against Indiana: one basket, five rebounds, four fouls. I became a writer because I thought there was no math involved, but I believe that works out to $80 million per basket.

It’s that kind of stuff for which I was hoping that Boozer’s deserved time on the sidelines was common sense. I was hoping that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had grown as sick of Boozer’s act as I had.

Part of the act is that he can put up the kind of line he authored in Game 5, but the more aggravating part of the act is that he appears to be mentally or emotionally unable to rebound from a bad start to finish with a good game. If he doesn’t get off early, it seems, he never gets off. He just gets worse.

The Bulls are supposed to depend on that guy for the next two months? Yeesh.

That’s why I was hoping that Thibodeau had figured it out and decided he didn’t want to see more bad Boozer late in a game he needed to win after seeing all that bad Boozer early. There was Taj Gibson coming off the bench, adding 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 30 minutes, and looking like he understood how the game needed to be played. He didn’t act like a guy who was demanding his touches. He was going after them. I was hoping Thibodeau had wised up and was going to win a game, no matter whose feelings might be hurt.

But no. Boozer said he suffered an injury to his right big toe. Of course he did, because that’s part of his irritating act, as well. It’s something every month with this guy. Did he buy a timeshare on the injured list? How can a guy who’s that cut be that injury-prone? How can a guy who has no idea how to guard anybody get hurt so often?

The Bulls got rid of the Pacers and now will get some rest before the winner of Orlando-Atlanta shows up. That’s good for Derrick Rose. That’s bad for those of us who are tired of Carlos Soriano.

Thibodeau had a decision to make with six minutes to go in the third quarter, and elected to gamble a bit. Once up by 14, the Bulls’ lead suddenly was only five. So, Thibodeau put Rose and his four fouls back in the game, a risk with 18 minutes to go. But Rose is a good bet. And Rose knew what was riding on this --- a longer series, another road game, a blown opportunity. Rose promptly hit three three-pointers and a free throw to push the Bulls up 15 in about three minutes. Must’ve been somebody else’s bad ankle everyone was worried about. Rose sparked a 23-8 run to end the quarter. Jackpot. Ballgame. Series. Next.

Yappy Pacers forward Danny Granger called Joakim Noah a coward and accused him of taking cheap shots. Excuse me, but one Pacers thug had two fouls upgraded to flagrant and another one was ejected for throwing a punch, just in case Granger wanted to know who the cheap-shot idiots actually were.

Here’s another tip for Granger: You shouldn’t open your mouth when you can’t close games.

But say this for Granger: His team tried to go Pistons retro, right down to acting like a babies at the end.

Noah was about to go for a monster game. Then he got into foul trouble, so he settled for a monster first quarter: 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. And oh, that energy. The Bulls just made the rest of the playoffs “Grandpa&Me Nights.’’ http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/ct-spt-0427-side-bulls-pacers-chicago20110426,0,3716824.story

Keith Bogans, your table is ready. And can you tell me where the line to apologize is?

 
CHICAGO