Carlos Boozer was scoring inside and outside, grabbing rebounds, scoring on second-chance shots and feeding teammates for easy baskets in the kind of performance that can make fans begin to forget his often ineffective play during the postseason.
The forward got a measure of redemption after a mediocre exhibition opener by scoring a team-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists on Tuesday night against the Pacers.
"This is the way he has been practicing in training camp," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's done a great job of running the floor. He's in great shape so I'm not surprised by his play."
Derrick Rose said Boozer's struggles in the first exhibition game could've been the result of the longer-than-normal offseason.
"We haven't played basketball in a very long time," Rose said. "I don't think he's played since the MIami series. He's just been working out. It's the same for me. I don't play pickup. I've just been working out so getting into the rhythm of the game is difficult.
Trying to make the extra pass contributed to Carlos Boozer's three turnovers in the opener. Thibodeau said opponents can't overlook the veteran forward's playmaking ability, which was on display in the first half of Tuesday night's game.
"He's a big part of our team at both ends of the floor," Thibodeau said of Boozer. "It's not only his scoring --- and again, he's very unselfish. One of the things that often gets overlooked is his playmaking ability. He's a great passer and he's got a lot of versatility. He makes the pick and roll very effective because he can step away from the basket and down shots, he can put it on the floor, he can post. I want him to run the floor more and get deeper post ups. One of the things we've talked about is post depth. Hopefully, we can work on that."