11:08 AM CDT, May 2, 2012
I’d like to beat up Carlos Boozer for the Bulls embarrassing loss to Philadelphia in Game 2 of a playoff series that is useless in the big picture and even the small picture. I’d like to beat up Boozer because Boozer is responsible for every Bulls loss, right?
But here’s the thing: Boozer gave the Bulls a start, scoring six of their first 14 points. Boozer called for the ball down low, and scored inside and outside in the first quarter, which is about the only time that coach Tom Thibodeau lets Boozer play with the popular kids.
The Bulls refused to give Boozer the ball in the second half. The Bulls gave the ball to the Sixers more than their power forward in the third quarter.
Wait, am I really writing some kind of defense for a guy who has no clue how to play defense?
Why, yes, I believe I am.
What the . . .? Sorry, I can’t explain it. The muse apparently is prompting me to write some weird rationalization for Boozer’s game. Help.
It would be so easy to blame Boozer right now. It would be so comforting, too. It’s what we do after Bulls losses. Boozer’s silly screaming act, the one he puts more effort into than his help defense, makes him a target. It also takes everybody’s mind off a Bulls team that yammered on and on about how good of a team it has played as a team and then showed what a miserable, laughable team it could play like.
Boozer wasn’t the only one who didn’t play defense Tuesday night. He also wasn’t the worst. Want to throw blame? Blame the guards. They couldn’t replace Derrick Rose, but why did they refuse to guard Jrue Holliday, Lou Williams and Evan Turner?
Did I miss the open letter on the Bulls website about Occupy Lameness?
I mean, the crowd was tougher on Turner than the Bulls players were.
Turner wanted the Bulls instead of the Heat because they were the better matchup. The Bulls are an even better matchup without Rose and even better still without a desire to guard anybody.
Back to Boozer, who called for the ball early in the game but was ignored by his teammates for a lot of a third quarter that prompted a call to FEMA.
The Sixers were going to dare the Bulls guard to beat them 1-on-1 because the Sixers had the better 1’s.
After the game, Thibodeau was asked what Boozer could do to help the Bulls extend this waste of time. The coach listed stuff such as passing, playmaking, rebounding, posting up, hitting from the outside, blah, blah and blah, because the coach could’ve said that about any of his players.
Luol Deng was worse than Boozer in more minutes. Richard Hamilton was just as bad in fewer minutes. Those are the three main guys who also are supposed to lead the Bulls into the Eastern Conference Finals with Rose out. Stop laughing. That was the plan. OK, so this isn’t “Ocean’s 11.’’
The stink was team-wide and the coach couldn’t do anything about it. He tried Taj Gibson, who is supposed to be more athletic than Boozer, but Gibson didn’t get back on defense any better than Rose did Tuesday night. Rose, at least, had an excuse.
I don’t know what my excuse is for defending Boozer to whatever degree this reads or sounds or smells like. I suppose I’m doing it so I can blast him when he actually deserves it.
Or maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s the muse. Yeah, that’s it. Blame the muse. It’s not me, people. That’s the thing about muses: You can’t live with them and you can’t kill them. You just hope it passes quickly, like this Bulls postseason.
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