by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Injuries and postseason failure may have ruined his first year in the Windy City, but Carlos Boozer sounds like he’s all fired up for this upcoming season.

Boozer promises Chicago Bulls fans and media that he’ll be a much better player this time around, going so far as to claim that the team will be good enough to win a title.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Boozer, maligned throughout the Bulls’ run to the Eastern Conference finals last season as he battled turf toe, has heard the criticism. And in a phone conversation from his offseason home in Miami on Tuesday, the former All-Star basically said bring it on. “It motivates me,” Boozer said. “First of all, I have high expectations for myself. I’m going to play a lot better than I played last season. The injury with the hand (in training camp) set me back. Then I thought I played well for a month or two. And then I had more injuries. A lot of things happened … I don’t look at criticism as a down thing or negative thing. I look at it as a challenge. That’s what athletes do: We challenge ourselves. I look forward to quieting the haters and helping my team win. That’s the most important thing.”

“I think we can accomplish a championship,” Boozer said. “I think we have the talent and the leadership in place. The experience of last year’s playoff run and the season we had has prepared us. A championship is the next step in our progression. Don’t get me wrong: There’s a lot of work to be done. We need to get in the lab and get to work. But if you ask anybody in that locker room, we have a championship-caliber team.”

Despite their bravado, no one outside of the Bulls’ locker room considers Chicago to be a true title contender.

Without a respectable option at the shooting guard spot, they don’t have enough offensive firepower to compliment Derrick Rose and truly challenge the League’s superpowers.

But, hey, what do I know? The players in Chicago seem to believe otherwise. And they’ll have plenty of opportunities this season to prove us all wrong.