Carlos Boozer plays vs. Magic

Updated: December 1, 2010, 10:44 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer made his season debut against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night in the Bulls' 107-78 loss.

"I'm playing," Boozer said after pregame warm-ups.

Boozer broke his right pinkie on Oct. 2, and his first full day of contact at practice was Monday.

After the Bulls missed on free agents LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh this summer, they turned to Boozer, who signed a five-year deal that could be worth as much as $80 million.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wanted to make sure the team's biggest acquisition wasn't rushed on the court too quickly, but he was anxious to put the former All-Star in the starting lineup.

The Bulls are coming off their first successful "Circus Trip" since the Michael Jordan era by going 4-3. Wednesday will be their first home game since the trip ended.

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was excited to have Boozer in the lineup.

"It's going to mean a lot. Don't go out there assuming everything is going to be perfect, though," Rose said Wednesday with a laugh. "I think tonight, our timing probably [will] be off, [maybe] it won't. We will have to see. But he's a great player for us. He's been doing a lot in practice. He's the only one who has energized legs, so he's dunking everything. So hopefully he dunks all the balls tonight."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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