October 03, 2010
All-Star forward Carlos Boozer(notes), Chicago's top free agent pick up from last summer, broke his hand in an apparent fall on Saturday, and preliminary reports suggest he'll out for two months. Chicago Tribune reporter K.C. Johnson postulates that Boozer will likely return after Chicago's infamous circus trip, a difficult west coast jaunt made necessary by the Barnum and Bailey Circus taking over Chicago's United Center for two weeks, which means Carlos will miss a minimum of 15 games to start the season.
The long term diagnosis could be much nastier. Boozer is right handed, and while he's also known for being one of the best left-handed finishers in basketball, his remarkable mid-range shooting prowess is done exclusively right-handed. Though there's every reason to assume that Boozer makes a full recovery, Chicago already has one player on their roster (Ronnie Brewer(notes)) whose shooting stroke never developed due to an injury to his shooting arm.
Despite thinning out its roster to make a free agent run at LeBron James(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes), Chicago does have options in Boozer's absence. Taj Gibson(notes) was last year's starter at big forward, and he's a starting-quality defender and shooter. Small forward Luol Deng(notes) played some of his best basketball at power forward last season, and the team can go huge by moving Joakim Noah(notes) down to power forward and playing rookie big man Omer Asik(notes) in the pivot.
This is still a major setback for Chicago, and it could cost them the home court advantage they were hoping to earn in next spring's first round.
And for Boozer, if the 15-games estimate is correct, this will mean a whopping 153 games missed to injury over the last seven seasons, and counting.