What They're Saying About The Jazz/Bulls

Utah Jazz game is against Bulls, not just former teammates | Deseret News
The Jazz playing against three former teammates makes for one of the most anticipated home games of the season. Obviously, Boozer is at the center of the excitement for tonight's game as fans can't wait to greet one of the most polarizing players in franchise history. Jazz players said Boozer doesn't deserve the boos that likely await him. "He's going to get booed, but it's going to sound like Booz so …," said Jazz guard Deron Williams, smiling. "I'm sure there's going to be some mixed reactions. Some people love Booz, some people hate him. He did a lot for this franchise, won a lot of games while he was here. He was a great teammate." Williams said much of the criticism directed at Boozer was unfair. "He had some injuries while he was here that definitely caused him to miss some games," he said. "He always wanted to be out there. He always wanted to play, wanted to be out there with his team. A lot of it (criticism) was unfair."

Boozer won’t let boos in Utah get to him - Chicago Sun-Times
Boozer is one of three members of the ‘‘Chicago Jazz’’ making their first appearance in Utah after signing with the Bulls. Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, though, figure to be cheered. ‘‘Going in, we already wanted to win this game a little more than all the other ones anyway,’’ Brewer said. ‘‘Especially now, since the way we’ve been playing the last two games. There’s a greater focus of what we have to do, and the task at hand is to win the game.’’

Bulls' Boozer ready for Jazz, fans - DailyHerald.com
Boozer generally took the high road when asked his memories of Salt Lake City or about the reception he may receive. The muscular power forward did try to spin the situation into his favor. "I need (the haters) to keep me motivated," Boozer said. "Little do they know, they just motivate. Guys like me take that in stride and use that as fuel."

As Jazz fans 'welcome back' Boozer, how does a Bulls fan feel? - Blog a Bull
Boozer's an interesting flashpoint for this Bulls team in the big-picture sense. He was a quality free agent signing, but not the best possible. He's good, but flawed (found these two observations on the 'little things' he does interesting), with his prior team not too upset to let him go and their fans not losing sleep over it either. He's been known to feast over the course of a regular season only to wilt against the strongest (and more accurately, longest) of opponents in the playoffs. Maybe the Bulls, at least in their current incarnation, are a similar as a whole. And while I can save the really big picture take on Boozer's age, his prime, the Bulls true championship window and the Org.'s urgency regarding it, the short version of what it means this season is seeing a team that may be very good but not good enough. I've been pretty happy about Boozer's production thus far in his initial Bulls campaign (a PER>20 don't lie), but maybe in a few years we feel the same way about Boozer the Jazz fans do: good production, but needed to be better to get the team to the very top level.

Booooooooo(zer) " NBA.com | Hang Time Blog
He never made a great connection in Utah, though, even in good times. A lot of people read him as insincere and rooted for his departure last summer in favor of keeping drama-less Paul Millsap at power forward. They were understandably angered when Boozer flirted with the Heat in previous offseasons, clearly hoping for a trade. Deron Williams openly waved his potential free-agent exit when he was upset, and he didn’t get the same negative reaction. Plus, it’s Carlos Boozer. He showed up in 2004 under bad circumstances, after the Cavaliers felt double-crossed when they allowed Boozer to become a free agent with the expectation he would quickly re-sign with a large raise, only to have him spring to the Jazz. It’s why he got booed hard back in Cleveland. Maybe Utah fans were never able to trust him because of how he got there in the first place.

Jazz stand up for Bulls’ Boozer | The Salt Lake Tribune
Deron Williams looked more like a boxer than a basketball player. Slumped down in a small chair, covered in white towels with his right wrist

For Bulls, it's a question of regression - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
Nonetheless, the big takeaway from tonight was whether the Bulls’ recent malaise was an inevitable happenstance after their unusually spectacular defensive success in the first 48 games, or a sign of deeper fundamental slippage. Chicago is unlikely to face such blistering shooting from the opposition, but with difficult road games against Utah and New Orleans remaining on this trip, it behooves them to tighten up the transition D and cut down on the fouls.

And as for Rose -- who played brilliantly with 36 points and, in this viewer’s estimation, was unfairly singled out by Batum when his frontcourt was the piece often found wanting -- he’ll get immediate opportunities to burnish his defensive rep. Showdowns against Deron Williams and Chris Paul are the next two dates on the schedule.

Behind the Box Score, where Carmelo's 50 didn't matter - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
The world is slowly getting wise to Carlos Boozer's terrible help defense, and while it hasn't completely cost Chicago two road wins over the last three days, it certainly hasn't helped.

The Bulls power forward doesn't move, defensively. His defensive rebounds help a team's bottom line, but he's an apathetic help defender, and an absolute liability in terms of pick and roll defense, rotations in the paint, or in terms of guarding big men one-on-one. And I write all this before even really thinking about LaMarcus Aldridge's dominant 42 points on Monday night. Derrick Rose still needs help off the ball, defensively, but it is Boozer that is the real mitigating factor on that end for Chicago.

Rose up for challenge of facing Williams - Chicago Bulls Blog - ESPN Chicago
"He plays physical throughout the whole game," he said recently. "If anything, that's what I'm learning to do." Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is impressed by Rose's physical play. "He just improved on what he had," Sloan said. "He's a terrific, explosive guy. He's so strong, and it looks to me like he's gotten stronger. I never thought he lacked of strength to begin with, but [it] looks like he's worked tremendously hard to make himself good and that doesn't come by accident."

Jazz's Williams, Sloan wary of Rose's talents - Chicago Breaking Sports
You won't hear Deron Williams knock Derrick Rose's efense. "I think he can play defense just fine," the Jazz's All-Star point guard said after Wednesday's shootaround. "I don't think there's anybody in this league who can stop guys one-on-one continuously or in pick-and-roll by themselves. Everything is team defense now."

Bulls want defense to return against Jazz | Utah Jazz Notes | The Salt Lake Tribune
Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau was known as the architect of Boston's defense during the Celtics' recent run of NBA championship contention. Thibodeau was hired by the Bulls before the start of this season and brought the same demand for defense to Chicago that he preached in Boston. Heading into Wednesday night's Jazz-Bulls game at EnergySolutions Arena, that's why Thibodeau has been upset with the Bulls' play lately. After holding opponents to less than 100 points in 23 straight games, Chicago comes to Utah after a 101-90 loss at Golden State and a 109-103 loss at Portland. Asked what the Bulls must do to beat the Jazz, Thibodeau said, "The big thing is the defense. We have to change it. And again, we've played defense well for most of the year. "[But] the last two games we've made it strictly an offensive contest. I actually like our offense a lot right now. We're scoring well. But we're not guarding and we can't win on the road like that."


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