Luol Deng: 10 Reasons Why He Is Indispensable to the Chicago Bulls
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Deng's length and defensive prowess are a perfect match for Tom Thibodeau's system, which emphasizes defense.
2. Leads the Team in Minutes
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
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.