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Chicago Bulls Preview: Carlos Boozer's Defense Put In Perspective

Since signing a five-year deal worth $75 million with the Chicago Bulls, Carlos Boozer has drawn much criticism from fans. While offensively he's still very much a force, leading the NBA in field goal percentage for shots three to nine feet from the basket, his defense has been suspect.

In his player-by-player preview of the 2012-13 NBA season, ESPN's John Hollinger put Boozer's poor defensive play in perspective:

Defensively, Boozer is Chicago's worst frontcourt player, but the excellence of the other three made him look worse: Chicago gave up 8.6 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court. While he was 11th in rebound rate among power forwards, his help defense was pretty deficient, consisting largely of screaming loudly that a pick was coming before pretending to stop the ball handler. He also has short arms and doesn't always sprint back, making him something of a magnet for criticism in the Windy City.

On a team with Derrick Rose consistently in the MVP talks, Boozer's offense has remained strong, but not at the level of a player worth $75 million, says Bulls blogger Jay Patt. While his shooting percentage around the rim has been solid, Boozer has been spending much less time there and subsequently costing himself free throw attempts.

With a suitable replacement in Taj Gibson coupled with Boozer's large salary, much of the fan base is now hoping that the two-time All-Star is with the team for not much longer.

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