Tom Thibodeau Benched Carlos Boozer

by January 06, 2011

Boozer didn’t play defense that was satisfactory enough for his coach last night, and as a result, he rode the pine late in the game (which the Bulls lost): “And so the Bulls head down the turnpike of broken glass bottles, the New Jersey Turnpike, to Philadelphia to face the 76ers Friday wondering where their fast break went, where their defense went and where was Carlos Boozer. The high scoring forward had 12 points, nine rebounds and a team high five assists, but he didn’t play the last 14 minutes of the game as Thibodeau went with the bench as he usually does to open the fourth quarter. But Boozer never went back in, and, actually, Rose didn’t until 4:02 left in the game as Thibodeau rode the reserve group, apparently somewhat displeased with the starters’ efforts. ‘We struggled all night,’ said Thibodeau. ‘At the end, we were in such a big hole that we were searching for anything that could get us going. So we went small to see if that could generate something’ … So Boozer sat and he said afterward it was not his decision. ‘You gotta talk to Thibs about that,’ Boozer said. ‘That was a coaching decision.’ He repeated that when asked again in a somewhat different way. ‘Yeah, we were surprised (Boozer didn’t come back in),’ said Rose. ‘But we’re not going to try to coach. We’re going to do our jobs and that’s to play. We’re going to leave the subbing up to him.’ That said, Boozer and Rose were very much into the game while on the bench in the fourth, leaping up at every Bulls basket and exploding when they thought Watson was fouled for three shots.”