Smack / Dec 27, 2010 / 7:05 am

Boozer bruises Pistons in OT; Blake Griffin makes his MVP case

Carlos Boozer (photo. Jeffery Salter)

Carlos Boozer (photo. Jeffery Salter)

Though they signed contracts over the summer totaling about $286 million, and each is seen in some way as a franchise-changing superstar for their respective new teams, there has been a lot of nit-picking and hate spread around for Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer before and during the season. But lately, all three fours have been killing it, especially Boozer. Over the last seven games – during which the Chicago Bulls have gone 5-2 without Joakim Noah in the lineup – Booz has averaged 26.2 points and 12.1 rebounds – including last night’s 31-point, 11-board effort in an overtime W against Detroit … Boozer made some big shots in the fourth quarter, but with Chicago protecting a two-point lead in the final seconds, Detroit got four shots on one possession and ended up with Charlie Villanueva tipping in a Rip Hamilton miss with less than a second to go. In the OT, Boozer opened up some opportunities for the Bulls with his interior passing, and beasted Tayshaun Prince in the lane for another bucket to put Chicago up three with under a minute to go. Down one with less than 10 seconds remaining, the Pistons called on Rodney Stuckey, who got to the basket against Derrick Rose (23 pts, 12 rebs, 8 asts) but threw up a bad shot that didn’t go. Kyle Korver – going with the almost scruffy Butterfly Effect Ashton Kutcher look rather than the clean-shaven Just Married look – made two free throws at the other end, and Charlie V’s three at the buzzer didn’t catch rim … Blake Griffin is obviously the marquee face of the L.A. Clippers and its highlight-reel regular, but is he really the MVP of the Clips? Blake continues to put up his monster stat lines and thrown down his monster dunks, and you could easily argue that it doesn’t make much of a difference in whether the Clips win or lose, hence the 9-22 record. But last night was a show of just how much Blake really means to his team. After Blake fouled out late in the fourth quarter, L.A. saw its 10-point lead cut to one after Steve Nash (21 pts, 15 asts) and Mickael Pietrus (25 pts, 5 threes) strung together some shots. The Clips were up three before Eric Gordon came up with a steal to set up Al-Farouq Aminu‘s dagger dunk with four seconds left … Of course you know Griffin (28 pts, 12 rebs) had to bring the thunder. In the first quarter he crushed a dunk on Marcin Gortat‘s face with full arm-cocked-back extension just to make it a little nastier … Still no Vince Carter, whose knee is still a problem. Have the Phoenix Suns medical staff finally found its match? … As NBA TV’s Steve Smith put it, Chris Paul “got very offensive-minded” in the second half of last night’s Hornets/Hawks game. After a quiet first half, CP3 dropped 13 points in the third quarter and finished with 22 points and 8 assists as N.O. came from behind to win. Paul added a fadeaway dagger and some free throws in the end to seal it … Are the Hornets legit or what? Every time you’re ready to crown ‘em, they lose an inexcusable game here or just get molly-whopped by a truly elite team there. Then every time you’re ready to write them off, they knock off an elite team or show their full, dangerous arsenal. Obviously it starts and ends with CP3, but could this team go to battle with David West, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and a rookie coach in Monty Williams and be considered a real threat to the Lakers or Spurs in a series? … Other stat lines from Sunday: Tony Parker put up 20 points and 14 assists in San Antonio’s win over Washington; Rudy Gay had 30 points, 8 boards, 5 assists and 5 steals as Memphis beat Indiana; Elton Brand posted 16 points and 17 boards in Philly’s win at Denver; Michael Beasley scored 28 points and made the game-winning layup driving past Antawn Jamison with five seconds left to lead Minnesota past Cleveland … We’re out like Gortat …

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  • That’s What’s Up

    With a healthy squad, and if Korver finds a real rhythm, I like the bulls a lot.
    That said, I still think it’s Celts, Heat, Magic in the East.

    Spurs should have a nice test tomorrow night; the lakers need a win badly but are playing like shit. may the best team win.

  • gilford

    Maybe I’m just a hater, but the why the hell is scalabrine on the court on the final seconds of regulation between bulls and pistons?

  • sh!tfaced

    “Have the Phoenix Suns medical staff finally found its match in Vince Carter?”

    hahahahahaha

  • Bruce

    Dear Dime — Just wanted to say, “Thank You” for not branding the release of the Air Jordans – Cool Grey that were released on Dec 23. It was already hectic. Thanks for not adding to the madness.

  • Mike “Yahoo! Exclusive” Mihalow

    “(Hornets) be considered a real threat to the Lakers or Spurs in a series?
    I know they beat the Spurs the first time they met, but the second time, they got destroyed. I remember changing channels at one point, and the Spurs were up by 35 pts.

    BTW, is anyone else like me still wasting their time voting for All-Star team starters at NBA.com? What’s with the weird-ass captcha words they use?

  • bookkwormmaster

    You could take the Hornets out and insert the Hawks and wonder the same damn thing. Beat Orlando, snuffed out the Cavs, choke against a struggling Hornets team. Smdh :-[

  • Dan

    ATL would have won if Joe Johnson was playing

  • http://www.roidrage.com Chicagorilla

    @DIME, I will be the first to admit when im wrong. So i admit i didnt think Boozer was capable of doing what he’s been doing. Offensively he has caught me way off guard with his passing skills and ability to finish over or around bigger opponents. He also has shown a few times he has low post scoring ability which he hasnt done since…damn near high school. I believe he needs to go to work more on the low block but not settle for fadeaways and instead bull his way in for lay ups or and ones. His rebounding has also been awsome but i expected that.

  • Dave

    chicagorilla, Boozer has the capability to be the best at his position in the league and will show you flashes and streaks for games and games, but when the time comes he can take a few games off he will. And when the time comes for the team to step up and play defense for a series you’re in trouble. Unless your big is good enough playing behind Boozer he’ll kill you in big games. He would rather get himself in good rebounding position than to come off his man and help out. He’ll get all the boards, but you’ll also give up 3 or 4 layups per game with him getting rebounding position instead of helping out on defense.
    Korver will hit shots and free throws, he’s a good one. But unless you have a big who will shut down the middle Boozer is going to kill you in big games.

  • jzsmoove

    i’ll give credit to Boozer too. I never once said that he cant play or he’s garbage. All i said about him is he I dont like him. I find him unloyal, and cant be trusted. The dude will play but I just happen to hate him (am still not over the Cavs behind-the-back con job).

  • Rome

    I think Noah fits that bill perfectly as a help side defender. If the Bulls get a true shooting guard that can help space out the floor for D-Rose to operate, the Bulls will go far in the playoffs. Noah and Rose always step their games up in the playoffs so that will help lighten the load for Booze

  • Rome

    How can you be loyal to teams that will trade you as soon as they can find a better player. All athletes should look out for their own interests

  • Dave

    Boozer’s problem is he only cares about himself. If it’s a question of Carlos or the team it’s always 100% Carlos.
    He’ll give you some great games but he isn’t good in the locker room and isn’t good in the long run for his team.

  • ab40

    chris paul is playing like shit this year.

    I thought milwaukee and the bulls would be on the same level this year. I guess boozer is the difference for the bulls this year.

    I hope phoenix can fix up vince carter that would be amazing. If he can get in that grant hill steve nash shape he and we can enjoy him playing basketball again.

  • http://weather.com Chicagorilla

    @Jsmoove and Rome, both of you are right. Boozer showed no loyalty, but why should he when if he tore his ACL the Cavs wouldve traded him. It goes both ways. @Dave, i have/had fairly low expectations for Booz. I knew he was a stat hog and prefers to go after the board, but either hes trying to impress Chicago or he has changed under Thibs because he has been doing a good job of talking and rotating on D. He isnt too good in man to man D, but team D he isnt a weak link. Other than Kurt Thomas and Brewer no one on the bulls is a great on ball defender. But because of Thibs they are all very good team defenders. Someone mentioned Noah, he is one of the most agile centers so he plays very good pick n roll D and has become great a his rotations. He isnt a good man 2 man vs big centers which could really hurt in the playoffs vs teams like Bos, Orl, or Mil.

  • Claw

    I said before the Bosh and Boozer moves that I liked Boozer more than Bosh because he had an inside game where Bosh is a better outside shooter and less of an inside game. But they both complement their teams in those areas.

    So my question is who is better Bosh or Boozer?

  • youwrong

    “chris paul is playing like shit this year.”

    -for your consideration: dumbest comment on dime

  • Dave

    i’d take Boozer, but it’s the lesser of two evils.

  • Dave

    if Boozer was my third option I would feel better about it because he certainly isn’t a 1 option and at best a 3 option on a championship contender.

  • http://dimemag.com Chicagorilla

    HAHAHAHA@Dave, my UNC roots wont let me give too much credit to Boozer. But i will say he fits better for what MIA wants to do. They run alot of PnR and PnP which he is prob the best in the L at. But Bosh is taller, younger, more athletic, and can play as the num 1 option or num 3. But if all money were even and depending on my team makeup, id take Amare over both. I prefer my bigs draw fouls and get buckets directly in front of the rim and Amare is better than those guys at rolling and finishing. But i would need a true center who rebounds. Overall though, give me Blake Griffin 1st, Paul Millsap 2nd, and Kevin Love 3rd over any PF in the NBA on the Bulls and i bet we give MIA, Orl and Bos a run for their money the next 5 to 10 yrs. Side note: i dont consider Duncan nor Gasol a PF, though i would never have chosen Gasol over any of those 6 guys.

  • Marcus

    Usually Boozer and bruises don’t go well together…glad to hear this guy is healthy and tearing shit up in the NBA.

    In Utah he was a double double machine. It will be interesting to see how he does when Noah is healthy tho.

  • S.A.C.

    Hey. Chicago played ugly. But good teams win games like yesterday. Yeah. Boozer putting up some good numbers. He and Rose seem like their going to have to shoulder the load, cause Deng and Korver seem like their in a slump. They been very spotty of late and the bench is not performing as it did on their Circus road trip when it counts. They been very sporadic.

    Griffin been beasting in deed. But I think his best performance are ahead of him, cause he seem to be getting better and more comfortable with his scoring, passing, outside shot and ball handling. Good for him. But it’s only 1/3 of the season so far, and we need to wait and see.

    I guess the brother above meant to say (if he wasn’t fooling around) that Chris Paul has not played consistently to the level that he earlier this season and the Hornets have basically sucked!!?? that’s my guess on him.

    PS:

    Won’t be the first or last dime Chicagorilla is wrong, makes a fool out of himself or makes a various online confessions from his lack of prescient basketball knowledge or analysis. But at least he can admit for a change (how rare and a revelation).

    Also; another sub 40% shooting night, 6 turnover game from DRose. Rose give-ith and Rose take-ith away it seems.

    But at least Dime admitted he was chucking and missing big shots at the end of the game.

  • http://www.Yourkoz.com Jon pierson

    When are they going to stop running away from their idolization problems, and stop saying beast, they really need to keep it at phenomenal or great…and stop wanting to be something they probably wouldn’t put the work into becoming any way…
    seriously though, the mainstream shouldn’t be embracing old hip hop/hood slang…its not the hood anymore when the homes are worth over 400,000 in LA and everyone’s going to be middle class soon any way…

  • S.A.C.

    PS: Chicagorilla

    Don’t think that people didn’t notice D. Rose getting ripped by Vilanaueva the other day on the side line against Detroit. I’m not going to give the requisite immature cackle and childish castigation you would. But how doe’s a 6’1″ point guard (I know he’s listed at 6’3″) get ripped by a 6’9″ (not particularly athletic, though solid forward/center) face to face? WTF?

    Actually it happens way too often with Rose. Fast Don’t Lie gets ripped regularly by various guards and forwards (usually when he’s facing them straight up and trying his fancy back and forth between the legs hesitation dribble or trying to weave through a crowd with the hope of getting to the basket). Rose could lose 1-2 turnovers a game if he tightened up his handle a little when face up with defenders and dribbling through traffic. But it’s embarrassing how easily he gets ripped so often. Most people don’t notice, cause they don’t watch enough Bulls games or it just go down as turnovers. But it seems almost once a game (or every two) he gets his pocket picked clean by a guard or forward.

    That’s quite embarrassing for a known top flight point guard!!

    Oh well!

  • rob g

    Rose had 23 12 boards and 8 assists with the win and people are still finding flaws. who gives a fuck about the turnovers I would trade my kidney and Stuckey for the kid to come to my pistons. 22 year olds usually have flaws in their games, as long as the kid continues to work hard to improve his game his future is bright….

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @Rob,

    as you see i don’t even respond to the ish anymore. It’s gotten to the point where its just weird. Rose has a bad game on the 4th game in like 6 days and still puts up 23pts 12reb and 8ast in a win, but of course he’s terrible.

    as my nicca Royce da 5’9 would say
    “f^k outta here with that ish/ you putting too much passion into that whack ish”