NBA Roundtable

Carlos Boozer Breaks Hand

In General NBA on October 4, 2010 at 2:29 am

ESPN reports

Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has a broken right hand that will require surgery, and he is expected to be out eight weeks, the team announced Sunday afternoon.Boozer suffered the injury on Saturday during the Bulls’ day off. Boozer tripped over a bag in his house and fell.

“[I was] at my house, came around the corner, fell over a bag, put my arm down to kind of brace myself,” Boozer said. “I’ll get surgery on Tuesday and do my rehab, be conditioned and run with the guys. The good thing about it was at least it only happened in the preseason.

The team says Boozer broke the fifth metacarpal bone in his hand. He was evaluated by team physician Dr. Brian Cole and hand specialist Dr. Marc Cohen of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.

The Bulls signed the two-time All-Star veteran forward to a five-year deal worth about $75 million this summer after missing out on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

So Boozer will miss the remainder of training camp plus the first month of the regular season.

Over that period, the Bulls will play about 15 regular season games. So a small chunk of the season but too large a deal. This will likely cement the Bulls below the Magic in the playoff seeds, fighting for fourth and fifth place with Atlanta and maybe Milwaukee instead of fighting for the third place finish though.

The Bulls team over that period will be very similar to the team that finished last season and was struggling towards a .500 record.

Position 09/10 10/11
PG Derrick Rose Derrick Rose
SG Kirk Hinrich Ronnie Brewer
SF Luol Deng Luol Deng
PF Taj Gibson Taj Gibson
C Joakim Noah Joakim Noah
Backup Guard Flip Murray CJ Watson
Backup Wing James Johnson Kyle Korver
Backup Forward Hakim Warrick James Johnson
Backup Big Man Brad Miller Kurt Thomas / Omer Asik

The 2010/11 team having two legitimate wings to play alongside Luol Deng and better depth but lose the versatile and valuable Kirk Hinrich.

Chicago will be hugely reliant on their defensive performances without Boozer and quite poor offensively as they fail to get Derrick Rose enough support scoring wise.

Schedule

Ah, I forgot that the Bulls have their annual lengthily West Coast trip in November when the circus comes to town. Here’s a breakdown of the schedule:

October

Opponent Likely Result W-L Record
@ Oklahoma City Loss 0-1
Detroit Win 1-1

November

Opponent Likely Result W-L Record
Portland Loss 1-2
New York Win 2-2
@ Boston Loss 2-3
Denver Loss 2-4
Golden State Win 3-4
Washington Win 4-4
@ Houston Loss 4-5
@ San Antonio Loss 4-6
@ Dallas Loss 4-7
@ LA Lakers Loss 4-8
@ Phoenix Loss 4-9
@ Denver Loss 4-10
@ Sacramento Win 5-11

December

The first ten days of December are no picnic either. So if Boozer is slow to return to the court or is struggling upon his return, the Bulls record continue to slide downhill.

Opponent Likely Result W-L Record
Orlando Loss 5-12
@ Boston Loss 5-13
Houston Loss 5-14
Oklahoma City Loss 5-15
@ Cleveland Win 6-15
LA Lakers Loss 6-16

If Boozer does return, and is his normal self, the Bulls likely turn at least two of those losses (Houston, Oklahoma) into wins bringing them to 8 wins and 14 losses to begin the season.

Summary

The Bulls shouldn’t have trouble recovering from this as the season unfolds but the combination of losing Boozer + a rough schedule will lead to a painful first month or so of the regular season.

Quick Update: Boozer had surgery straight away and has started rehab. Coach Thibodeau says that rehab could take “six weeks, eight weeks or ten weeks” … so Booz might make it back in time for the West Coast swing or his absence might spill into December. Thibs also said that Boozer will be able to work on his conditioning while the cast is on so that should help Boozer make a quick return to form once he returns.

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