Did Boozer Cut Himself To Get Timeout?
Carlos Boozer put up a nice effort in Chicago’s 95-91 loss in Boston on Sunday afternoon, posting 22 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes. Aside from his five fouls and four turnovers, Boozer had an effective performance and was also responsible for two infamous plays in the final minute of the game.
Boozer intercepted a pass and called a timeout with 27.6 seconds left in regulation and the Bulls trailing 91-88, despite the fact that C.J. Watson was all alone on Chicago’s offensive end. It seemed simply to be a stroke of bad luck, with Boozer twisting away from Watson as he stole the ball. He made the smart play by immediately calling a timeout, but it cost Chicago an easy two points.
“In those situations, I think, and he didn’t see him, but it has to be safety first,” Tom Thibodeau said. “You can’t be careless there and you want to make sure you get a good shot. You know, those are the breaks. Sometimes that happens.”
Had Boozer seen Watson, the Bulls could have pulled to within one point with around 25 seconds left. The game becomes much different, but as Thibodeau said “those are the breaks.”
The timeout Boozer called was Chicago’s final one of the game and resulted in a missed fadeaway jumper by Watson. However, they were able to get another stoppage in play after Rajon Rondo made a pair of free throws, pushing Boston’s lead to 93-88 with 21.5 seconds left.
I asked Luol Deng about the official timeout, which came after Chicago had exhausted all of their stoppages, and he said a teammate had blood on his arm. When asked who it was, Deng confirmed it was “Carlos.”
So over to Boozer’s locker I went to ask about the incident, which wasn’t a mystery to ABC’s television audience because announcer Mike Breen said on the broadcast that it appeared as though Boozer had cut himself to stop play. NBA rules dictate that an official timeout will be called whenever an active player has blood on his body or jersey.
It seemed plausible that Boozer could have scratched himself to draw blood, which he then pointed out to a referee, but he claimed otherwise.
“Yeah, I had a cut on my arm,” he said when I asked him about the stoppage. Boozer claimed the cut occurred when he was “just playing,” but the story is a bit fishy when you consider that it appears to have happened while Rondo was attempting foul shots.
Regardless of what happened to Boozer’s arm in the final seconds, it did take some of the attention away from his seemingly inhumanly dark hair.