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Luol Deng, where art thou, Luol Deng?
It burned my britches watching Deng take over games last season when the Bulls were down. I cannot recall how many times did Deng decided to do whatever it took for the victory.
The frustration builds because we do not see this version of Deng during the game’s entirety. His sense of urgency to score often does not come until the fourth quarter.
It also seems that he has fallen for the three-point shot.
According to hoopsdata.com, Deng averaged just as many three-point attempts (4.0) as he did mid-range shots (4.1). Deng shot a career-low 35 percent from that range and 39.5 percent from three. His shooting percentage at the rim was 62.4 percent but he attempted a career-low of 3.4 shots.
Last season’s 15.3 points per game was the lowest in three years.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau marveled after a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on 11-1-10, Deng had just torched them for 40 points.
"During the first two games, [Deng] didn't shoot the ball well, but I thought he played well," said Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau. "He's moving without the ball, he's cutting hard, he's making the extra pass and he's playing really good defense. Tonight, he was terrific offensively. His body was in [constant] motion and he got out and ran the floor well."
Those quotes gave us a look at what it would take Deng to become a consistent 20-point scorer. Can someone please remind him that he should not stand in the corner to wait for open three-point shots? He can be unstoppable, if he moved without the ball, that is.