In his last four games, Carlos Boozer is averaging 25 points on 64.2 percent shooting. His season average is up to 19.1 points, and the Bulls are 9-3 since his return from a broken right hand even though they dropped the first two games he played.
But as impressive as the statistics are, they’re downright striking when you consider them after listening to coach Tom Thibodeau assess the power forward’s level of conditioning after the Bulls’ 87-80 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
“It’s amazing that he’s doing what he’s doing,” Thibodeau said. “I still think he’s working himself into shape. His legs aren’t under him yet. He’s in great shape but not great basketball shape, and there’s a difference between the two.
“But you can see what great instincts he has to score 30 points. He knows how to find seams around the basket, and the way he’s rebounding the ball is a testament to his ability. He’ll just continue to get better and better.”
That’s right. That assessment came after Boozer scored a game-high 30 points on 11-for-18 shooting — including the game-clinching basket — to lead the Bulls to a win in a game that could be best described as a defensive struggle.
Despite his scoring numbers and high shooting percentage, Boozer has yet to fully regain the form that made him one of the NBA’s best finishers in the paint during his years with the Utah Jazz.