Tom Thibodeau Sticking Up for Carlos Boozer

by May 06, 2011

The Bulls’ head coach didn’t get quite as emotional as Joakim Noah did regarding Carlos Boozer’s struggles, but Tom Thibodeau made it clear that he’s firmly on the struggling forward’s side. From ESPN: “Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau continues to defend Carlos Boozer despite the power forward’s poor production throughout the playoffs. ‘We need him out there,’ Thibodeau said after Thursday’s practice. ‘His rebounding is critical for us, post presence, people collapse on him, so it opens up a lot of things for everybody. So he’s got to just keep doing what he’s doing. Each day he’ll get better and better.’ Boozer, who suffered a turf toe injury in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers on April 26, continues to struggle and has drawn the ire of Bulls fans. He was booed at the United Center during various points of Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. Thibodeau said that he doesn’t think he needs to speak to Boozer about the backlash from fans. ‘Look, Carlos has been in the league for a long time,’ Thibodeau said. ‘He’s been through every situation you could possibly be through. He’ll handle it fine. He’s been a big-time player in this league for a long time, so he knows what he has to do.’ Boozer, who averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds in 59 regular-season games, is averaging 10.3 points on 38.2 percent shooting from the field and 10.0 rebounds.”