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updated: 5/2/2011 10:36 PM

Boozer: 'I'm doing good'

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  • JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comCarlos Boozer of the Bulls loses the ball as he falls between Al Horford, left, and Damien Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks during Monday's game at the United Center.

      JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comCarlos Boozer of the Bulls loses the ball as he falls between Al Horford, left, and Damien Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks during Monday's game at the United Center.

 
 

During one first-half possession, the chants of "Boooz" from the United Center may have actually turned to boos.

Carlos Boozer struggled offensively in the first round against Indiana and suffered a turf toe injury in the clinching win over the Pacers. He was in the starting lineup Monday and played reasonably well, producing 14 points and 8 rebounds in the Bulls' loss to Atlanta.

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"I'm doing good," Boozer said at the morning shootaround. "Toe's feeling a lot better, got a lot of treatment the past few days. Very painful just to step on it. We've been able to calm it down pretty good.

"We did some adjustments on my shoe, got a tape job on my toe; a couple of things to make it as comfortable as possible."

No dirty talk:

The Bulls' first-round series against Indiana ended with Pacers top scorer Danny Granger making angry comments about Joakim Noah being a dirty player.

Atlanta forward Al Horford, Noah's former college teammate at Florida, came to the defense before Monday's Game 1.

"Joakim just plays hard," Horford said. "I think he's the kind of guy you love to have on your team, but you hate to go against. Jo's not dirty. I don't know why people have a problem with it. He just plays hard."

Hawks coach Larry Drew agreed.

"I'll take guys like that all day," Drew said. "Big men, they're paid to do dirty work. Sometimes it gets real dirty. I like those kinds of guys. I like guys who are not afraid to bang and get on the floor and push and grab and claw."

Granger's comments seemed odd considering the Pacers made physical play their specialty during the first four games of the series.

"I guess they want to be rough on people, but when people are rough back, they're not OK with it," Horford said.

Teague gets start:

Before Game 1, Hawks coach Larry Drew explained his decision to start Jeff Teague, even though the second-year guard logged just nine minutes total during the entire first-round series against Orlando.

"With Jeff (Teague) in the lineup, his speed and his quickness gives us a chance to defend (Derrick) Rose," Drew said. "We were pondering whether to start Jamal (Crawford).

"(Teague) didn't play much the Orlando series, but he's a pro. He's a kid that has the ability. We don't want to play too fast. We need him to be himself."

The Hawks also started a smaller front line of Al Horford, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams after bringing Williams off the bench and starting center Jason Collins against Orlando's Dwight Howard.

Delayed homecoming:

Hawks guard Jamal Crawford spent the first four years of his NBA career with the Bulls, but his run in Chicago ended in 2004.

"It feels surreal, but not to the point where I can't function and go play," he said before the game. "It was a while ago, but it was where I started, so it will always be special to me. It will always be special to me."

Kirk not forgotten:

Former Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich sat on the Atlanta bench in street clothes Monday due to a hamstring injury and may not play at all in the series. The Hawks traded for Hinrich in February to help their defense.

"His toughness is something we're certainly going to miss," Atlanta coach Larry Drew said. "His ability to defend and fight through screens. That's something he brought that we didn't have earlier."

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