Luol Deng: 10 Reasons Why He Is Indispensable to the Chicago Bulls

Galvin Kilroe@@GalvinKilroeContributor IIIJanuary 21, 2011

Luol Deng: 10 Reasons Why He Is Indispensable to the Chicago Bulls

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    Luol Driving to the Basket
    Luol Driving to the BasketChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Chicago Bulls' 2010-2011 season has taken an unorthodox route for a season marked with so much success.  Derrick Rose has emerged as a leading MVP candidate, while the team has battled the injury bug.  Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer have both missed significant chunks of the season, and are currently both out, though Boozer is day-to-day and should return shortly.

    Other than Rose's emerging dominance, there has only been one constant presence on this squad: Luol Deng has logged the most minutes of all the Bulls this year, and his play has done a big part at masking their injuries and weak roster points.

10. Ability To Get Across the Floor Quickly

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    Loul has been doing work all year at the Line
    Loul has been doing work all year at the LineJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Deng's ability to cover a lot of floor on one play increases his ability to help on defense, especially with the absence of Noah.  When both are present, the Bulls will be a very difficult team to score on.  His speed also complements the offense because Deng cannot be left alone anywhere within the three-point arc.  If he is left alone, Deng is able to use his length to create shots, and is rarely blocked.

9. Brings a Veteran Presence to the Bulls

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    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 24:  Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls celebrates after scoring against the Phoenix Suns late in overtime of the NBA game at US Airways Center on November 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Luol Deng is the longest tenured Bull, and his experience in the league and postseason complement a team led by young players like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.  Boozer is new to Chicago, so Deng is still a source of veteran insight for Noah and Rose.

8. Luol Deng Is Shooting 50 Percent on Two-Point Field Goals

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 15:  Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls takes a shot over Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat at the United Center on January 15, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    When you have Rose, Noah and Boozer on the floor and have to account for a guy that makes 50 percent of the two-point shots he takes, good luck.  Somebody is going to be open at almost all times.

7. Luol Deng Is a Legitimate Three-Point Threat

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    PHOENIX - JANUARY 22:  Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls puts up a three point shot against the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bulls defeated the Suns 115-104.  NOTE TO USER: User express
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Luol Deng is making almost three times the amount of three-point shots he has ever made per game in seasons past.  With inconsistencies on the part of Kyle Korver, and a lack of skilled perimeter shooters aside from Rose, Deng helps the Bulls in one of their weaker areas.

6. Hides the Lack of a Consistent Scoring Two Guard

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    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 24:  Luol Deng #9 and Kyle Korver #26 of the Chicago Bulls react after scoring against the Phoenix Suns late in overtime of the NBA game at US Airways Center on November 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bulls defeated the Suns 123-115
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Kyle Korver has been improving his play lately, but earlier in the season he struggled.  Ronnie Brewer is a lockdown defender, but does not add much dynamics in the scoring department.  Having Deng on the floor helps mask the lack of scoring being generated by our shooting guards.

5. Bulls' Third Scoring Option

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    Luol mixing it up with Kobe
    Luol mixing it up with KobeJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Luol is averaging 17.2 ppg and making 45.2 percent of his field goals attempted.  If he can continue to score at that rate, and Noah plays like he did before his injury, the Bulls will be very difficult to beat in the playoffs. 

4. Third-Leading Rebounder on the Bulls

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    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 24:  Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bulls defeated the Suns 123-115 in double overtime.  NOTE TO USE
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    With leading rebounder Joakim Noah out for weeks, the Bulls have never needed six rebounds per game from Deng more than now.

3. His Size on the Wing Is a Great Fit in the Tom Thibodeau System

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    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 24:  Channing Frye #8 of the Phoenix Suns puts up a shot over Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls during the NBA game at US Airways Center on November 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Bulls defeated the Suns 123-115 in double overtime.
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Deng's length and defensive prowess are a perfect match for Tom Thibodeau's system, which emphasizes defense.

2. Leads the Team in Minutes

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    CLEVELAND - APRIL 27: Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls tries to pass around Antawn Jamison #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 27, 2010 in Clevela
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Luol's 39.2 minutes per game leads the team, and is needed even more when the Bulls battle injuries.  He has played the fourth-most minutes of anybody in the NBA this year.

1. Plays Well With Rose and Boozer

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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 10: Luol Deng #9 and Carlos Boozer #5 of the Chicago Bulls leap for a rebound against the Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center on December 10, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    His ability to set up and wait for a mid range and long range shots compliments Rose and Boozer.  Rose can draw coverage dish to Deng, drive and dish out to him, or pass to Boozer who can chuck it to Deng for an open shot.  Very difficult to prevent him from scoring because of defensive attention Rose and Boozer merit.