If you don't know by now, we are about 24 hours removed from Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer receiving an NBA All-Defense vote and me going absolutely crazy. Though it's sweeping -- but probably safe -- to assume everybody who's watched Big Booz has wanted to give him big boos for the way he D's up, I wanted to talk to someone with considerably higher basketball IQ than myself to get a second opinion. So who better to bring in than Coach Nick of BBALLBREAKDOWN? Aside from his great site -- which "focuses on the lost fundamentals that make basketball great" -- he's also the head Boys Basketball Coach at Birmingham High School in California. And to top it all off, he's a Bulls fan.
Coach Nick (@bballsource) became a personal hero of mine when he eviscerated Boozer's defense in a game against the Atlanta Hawks from earlier this year. It's a YouTube classic. We'll dive into the video, as well as a Q&A with the man himself... after the jump.
This video is my Christmas. It's from a post titled, "Why Derrick Rose Is Still MVP And Carlos Boozer Is Not". The first few minutes focus on Boozer, starting with his offense before delving into defense. Please take it all in.
The total package is on display: no weakside help, no pressure, illegal defense, poor box out, poor close out and, probably my favorite (I hate myself) moments: the lack of effort and eventual benching -- just to get him off the floor for two seconds of defense. If you've watched the video, you can tell Coach Nick knows his stuff. I exchanged some e-mails with him to get a more in-depth look at Boozer's defense.
SBN Chicago: What do you think are Boozer's biggest weaknesses on defense?
Coach Nick: Weakside positioning, hedging on screens, challenging shots.
SBN Chicago: What is his biggest strength on defense?
Coach Nick: Rebounding.
SBN Chicago: Grade his overall defense on a scale of A+ to F.
Coach Nick: D.
Do you think he deserves to play in defensive situations?
Coach Nick: No, not at all, particularly with Gibson on the team.
SBN Chicago: Can any of his flaws be corrected?
This many years into his career, he won't change. He is what he is. Unless he gives you 22 points, he's a liability...
SBN Chicago: What was your reaction when you heard Boozer got an All-Defense vote?
Coach Nick: I thought it was April 1st. Someone should check to see if he gets extra money from his contract if he gets a vote.
SBN Chicago: As a coach, are you surprised a defense-minded coach like Tom Thibodeau hasn't blown up to the media about Boozer's defense?
Coach Nick: Not surprised since Thibs is a great coach and consummate professional. He'd never do that in public.
SBN Chicago: I've found myself screaming obscenities at my television -- alone -- while watching him play defense. What specific part of his defense do you think causes fans and coaches to go completely crazy?
Coach Nick: I think it's his yelling and low crouch -- as if he is TRYING to play defense, he LOOKS like he's playing defense, then doesn't move and lets his man score...
SBN Chicago: Anything to additional to add about your video I'm linking?
Coach Nick: Amnesty Boozer, sign Ilyasova or Landry!!
SBN Chicago: Anything additional to add overall?
Coach Nick: LeBron completely and utterly screwed up going to Miami. He should've signed in Chicago and the Bulls would've been celebrating the first of many already...
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Oh, alternative realities. Special thanks to Coach Nick for his analysis and stellar video. I think it's officially time to begin the cleansing process.