Luol Deng returned to the Chicago Bulls lineup after missing seven games with an injured wrist and showed no signs of rust, scoring 21 points and grabbing nine boards last night against Milwaukee. The Bulls were 4-3 with Luol out of the lineup and are 16-3 on the year when Deng suits up.
On the season, Luol is averaging 16.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.2 SPG while ranking second in the league in minutes played (38.4). Often tasked with guarding the opponent’s top scoring threat, Deng has left his mark on both ends of the floor this season.
“I thought he should’ve been (on the NBA’s All-Defense Team) last year,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. ”He has great length and body control. He challenges shots, keeps the ball in front. He’s a very good individual defender and excellent team defender.”
Given Luol’s outstanding play and the success of the Bulls this season, Deng is certainly in the conversation for a spot in this year’s All-Star game in late February.
“Lu is definitely going to make the All-Star team this year,” said teammate Derrick Rose. ”If he don’t, that would be cheating man. It would be cheating for sure.”
“We know how important he is to the team,” stated Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. ”And he does it night in, night out. Even the nights in which he doesn’t shoot the ball well he still does so many things that help you win. He’s done everything for us.”