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Breaking down Carlos Boozer's effectiveness and fit with the Lakers

In mid-July, the Lakers claimed Carlos Boozer off waivers after he was amnestied by the Bulls. As he makes his transition to LA, we examine his overall game and see where he fits into the team's rotation.

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In a solid piece a couple of weeks ago, fellow Silver Screen and Roll contributor James Lamar wrote about how the addition of Carlos Boozer would pay positive dividends for the Lakers. His main focus centered around how Boozer would work as a temporary tutor to Julius Randle. While Boozer's prime years are probably behind him, Lamar argues that he'll still be a vital part of the Lakers' organization because of his ability to be a mentor to the team's slew of young frontcourt players.

Even though his role as a mentor is going to be a key factor behind his position, Boozer will still be looked at as one of the main cogs of the team's frontcourt despite the slow deterioration of the skills that pushed him into being one of the better forwards in the league. While his athleticism and quickness have shown signs of decreasing, Boozer can still score in a bevy of ways.

Boozer's post-up ability has always been one of the biggest centerpieces of his offensive repertoire. When he's able to utilize his muscular 260-pound frame inside the low-post, he showcases a solid capability to score. His brute force is one of the bigger reasons behind his low-post success, with his main strength being his extremely solid footwork:

Although that ability has taken a small dip over the past few seasons, Boozer still consistently is able to use his footwork to create some space from the opposition. When he's able to move away from the opponent, he uses his quickness to get easy baskets around the rim, or step back to hit a mid-range jumper.

Boozer has also had ample success when he's positioned away from the paint, having his fair share as a mid-range shooter. Although that ability is there, inconsistency has started to slowly seep into the conversation when you look at his performance. He shot just 39% from mid-range, the lowest percentage of his 12-year career. He can counteract that by cutting to the rim from the top of the key, which he's proven capable of, and he can also still beat slower defenders off the dribble.

Consistency has been one of the biggest negatives for Boozer over the last couple of seasons. He's helped lead a team's offense on a temporary basis, but shouldn't be relied on night-to-night. His noticeable offensive decline is definitely a concern, but what really sticks out is his infamously-awful defense:

When Boozer is tasked with defending an opponent in pick-and-rolls, or when they're just away from the paint, he easily loses track of who he's supposed to guard. He tends to trail off and follow the guard, which allows the screener (and Boozer's designated man) to get an open look.

Away from pick-and-rolls that lack of defensive awareness is clearly evident. Whenever Boozer is guarding off-ball, he tends to stay fixated directly on the ball-handler. While that might occasionally work with him helping out in double teams, there are too many instances in which his designated assignment is able to get a clear path to the rim.

The clear defensive shortcomings are the most discussed topic pertaining to Boozer, but he still has potential to be a valuable asset for the team's frontcourt. The biggest positive about Boozer's game rests on his offensive ability, though. Despite the concerns about his inconsistent play, he's still an exceptionally hard worker on offense, which should allow him to be a positive part of the team's offense. A good example of his effort is showcased by averaging 3.4 offensive boards per 36 minutes, which would have just put him behind Jordan Hill on the list of the Lakers' best offensive rebounders.

Perhaps the best part of the Boozer addition would be the simple fact that he's under an extremely team-friendly one-year deal worth $3.25 million. With that small contract, Boozer will probably be looked at as a stop gap solution that can help fill a role inside L.A.'s starting rotation until one of the team's younger options (Randle, Davis or Kelly) is ready to overtake him.

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