The Importance of Luol Deng
Referred to as the “glue” to this Bulls team by Coach Thibodeau, all star small forward Luol Deng plays a big role in this team. Insure you get a spot to watch the action unfold – You won’t want to sell your tickets at stubhub this time!
Deng and the Bulls organization have chosen to have Deng’s wrist surgery wait until after this season. We all know he can play through this injury like he has this past year on the Bulls and on Great Britain’s olympic team. However, it will still be another year of pain for Luol’s left wrist and he won’t be completely 100 percent.
Many occasions last season we saw Luol Deng after a possession hunched over in pain holding his wrist. Does the injury affect his shot? Perhaps slightly for the injury is on his non dominant hand, but it is still an annoyance to be dealt with. Of course Deng himself feels fine to report to camp without surgery but it will need to be done sooner or later.
Currently, Luol is the 2nd scoring option other than Derrick Rose whether fans like it or not. He or someone else is expected to put up close to 20 points a game in Rose’s absence. Deng averages in the mid to high teens when it comes to points per game. Last year he put up 15.3 PPG in 54 games which was enough considering the Bulls had the best record in the NBA at the end of the regular season. Except now everyone expects Rose to be out for the opening months of the season. More will be needed of Deng, Boozer and Richard Hamilton. We saw it in the first round of last year’s playoffs. In games 2, 3 and 4 (all Chicago Bulls losses) Deng scored 8, 5 and 11 points respectively. In games 1 and 5 (both wins) Deng scored 17 and 24 respectively. The Bulls also had Derrick Rose for 3 and a half quarters of game 1. Game 6, the last of the series, Deng put up 19 points and 17 rebounds in a game that came down to a free throw. It just proves that with Derrick Rose out of play, someone else needs to put the ball in the basket. With the lack of any blockbuster moves this offseason, it looks like the Bulls look to Luol Deng to pick up the slack left in Rose’s absence.