Just a quick note on Carlos Boozer. Living in Utah now, I frequently hear people say that Carlos Boozer is just a scorer and doesn’t play defense. It’s like the stuff they keep saying about Kobe Bryant — too many people just parrot what they hear from someone else, without thinking or researching.
First, Boozer is currently the #2 rebounding power forward in the NBA. That alone shows Boozer isn’t just a scorer, but it also shows a willingness to do hard, dirty work, doesn’t it?
More to the point though, Carlos Boozer is 4th in the NBA in steals per game at his position.
Steals? Were you expecting blocked shots as evidence of Boozer’s defensive prowess?
Carlos Boozer is undersized for his position, so naturally he won’t be a leading shot blocker, but he has hit the weights to get strength and bulk, and works hard to make his position defense is very good.
Besides, going for blocks puts you out of position for rebounds, so Booze defends by keeping his man away from the rim, forcing him into tough shots, then grabbing the rebound. That is solid, heady team defense … but it doesn’t really show up in box score statistics though, does it?
The best I can do is point out that Boozer is #1 among NBA power forwards (beating Duncan and Garnett) in efficiency rating, which takes into consideration team defense while he is in the game.
Carlos has always defended. I’ve known him since he was playing for the Juneau Douglas Crimson Bears in Alaska, and he played solid defense then. I’ve played pickup games with him, and he played defense then, blocking shots and forcing us into more difficult shots (or into deciding not to shoot at all).
Besides, you can’t rise to the top of Duke’s system if you don’t defend.
Seriously guys, it’s time to let go of the myth that Carlos Boozer doesn’t play defense.