Carlos Boozer Injury: Star's Absence Robs Bulls of Crucial Post Presence

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIFebruary 1, 2013

The Bulls will miss Carlos Boozer in the post.
The Bulls will miss Carlos Boozer in the post.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Carlos Boozer is currently a game-time decision for the Chicago Bulls, but his absence robs the Bulls of a crucial post presence.

Boozer, who injured his hamstring Monday and missed Wednesday's game, is questionable for Friday's game against Brooklyn. 

If he is out, it will be a big loss for the Bulls.

Boozer is having a terrific season, averaging 15.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

He takes the offensive load off of Luol Deng, who has had to carry the team in Derrick Rose's absence.

Taj Gibson will start in place of Boozer, and while he's much better defensively, he's a huge downgrade offensively.

Gibson is averaging only seven points per game this season.

Boozer is so critical for the Bulls. He opens up the lane for Deng and takes pressure off of him, so he doesn't have to constantly create on his own. 

With Rose out, the Bulls needed Boozer and Deng to step up.

They both have, in big ways.

If Boozer is to miss extended time, Taj Gibson simply won't be able to handle the load in the post. He's a nice player, but he does not have the ability to command double-teams down low like Boozer can.  He averages only 22 minutes per game and hasn't had a lot of extended playing time.

Without Boozer, defenses will collapse on Deng and he won't have the same freedom he enjoys now to create and distribute. Without a viable post threat, Deng will have to do it on his own.

It does not look like Boozer will miss too many games, but if he does the Bulls will really struggle.