Top 5 best, worst moments of Boozer era

CHICAGO -- Carlos Boozer's time with the Chicago Bulls was full of emotional swings. Let's take a quick look back at his top five performances and the five lowest points of his tenure.

The Best

1. Too much for the Heat: The best game I ever saw Boozer play for the Bulls was Jan. 4, 2013, in a win over the Miami Heat. He had 27 points and 12 rebounds while leading his teammates to a surprising win over LeBron James & Co. But the stats told only part of the story on this night; it was the most active Boozer had been defensively in a while. He was diving on the floor for loose balls and seemed completely engaged all night. The performance capped his best statistical week on the team, considering he racked up 65 points and 37 rebounds combined in the three games prior.

2. Closing down the Hawks: Boozer really struggled at times during the 2011 postseason, but his shining moment came in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks. That's when he rattled off 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to help push the Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals.

3. Halting the streak: On the night the Bulls ended the Heat's 27-game winning streak, Boozer played a prominent role, going off for 21 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and dishing out three assists in 39 minutes. Playing without Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose, Boozer and Luol Deng led the Bulls to one of the most surprising wins in recent memory.

4. Knocking down the Nets: Boozer's best all-around season was the 2012-13 campaign without Rose. He knew he was going to get his shots early and be a focal point of the offense. It wasn't a coincidence that his postseason was that year, as well. In a Game 3 win over the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, Boozer chipped in with 22 points, 16 rebounds and three assists.

5. Fighting through the blues against the Jazz: Boozer had better statistical games, but his 26 points and 16 rebounds in a Nov. 25, 2013 game in Utah makes the list because of the timing of when it occurred. That would be just three days after Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee, and the same day, it was revealed that Rose would miss the rest of the season because of the injury. Boozer was the only player who looked comfortable on the offensive end and, along with Deng, carried the Bulls in an overtime loss.

The Worst

1. Bad first impression: At the outset of 2010-11 training camp after Boozer signed a five-year deal worth about $75 million, he told the team he had tripped over a bag in his house and broke his hand. He missed the first two months of the season. In his defense, he was extremely durable after that point in his tenure, but it was not the ideal way to start his stay in Chicago.

2. Frustration boils over: The worst season of Boozer's tenure was his final one, 2013-14, and the frustration regarding his limited role late in games boiled over during a morning shootaround in Sacramento before a Feb. 3 game. He became the first Bulls player to publicly call out coach Tom Thibodeau for some of his decisions regarding distribution of minutes. Boozer almost always played the role of good teammate during his time, but this moment irreparably broke the trust between him and the organization.

3. Tough times in the postseason: The veteran power forward struggled in the playoffs throughout much of his Bulls career. But one of the most memorable struggles came in Game 5 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals against the Heat. He was just 1-for-6 from the field and managed just five points in 26 minutes.

4. Misery in Philly: With the Bulls in need of a win to keep their season alive in the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers, Boozer managed just three points, going 1-for-11 from the field in a Game 6 loss in Philadelphia. When asked to assess his season, Boozer summed it up with one of the most memorable quotes of his tenure.

"I thought I played well, especially with the kind of season it was. We had the best record again in basketball, won our division again, had the top seed again. That's all that matters, yo."

5. An interesting hairstyle: Boozer made national headlines during a Feb. 12 game in Boston when he showed the world a new hairstyle. The look, in which he appeared to use dark spray on top of his head, became a topic of debate on ESPN’s "Pardon The Interruption." It always will be one of the things fans remember about the veteran's time in Chicago.