This was the blueprint all along.
It was supposed to be front and center throughout the opening-round series with a foul-first, ask-questions-later Indiana Pacers team. It was supposed to be on display again against an Atlanta Hawks squad that had a game more suited for Harlem’s Rucker Park than prime time in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
This blueprint called for Carlos Boozer providing the body blows for three quarters, and then Derrick Rose cutting off the head in the fourth — Option No. 2 handing the game off to option No. 1.
No muss, no fuss, no problem.
If only it was that simple.
But there was a problem. A big one. All 6-9, 266 pounds of him. Boozer wasn’t cooperating. He wasn’t playing like a second option. Heck, there were games where he wasn’t any option.