Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/7/13
Ricky O’Donnell over at the great Chicago Bulls blog Blogabull put up a piece a couple of weeks ago examining the possibility of Luol Deng playing some power forward this upcoming season. The idea is that the Bulls could incorporate some of the new-age small-ball style of play into their lineups, and use Deng as a stretch-4, a power forward who can shoot the three. Shoot Luol, shoot until your heart is content. The Bulls, along with their Central Division rival Indiana Pacers (and now the Detroit Pistons too) have eschewed the idea of small-ball over recent years in favor of a traditional two big-man lineup. Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer have been the starters at center and power forward since day one, except for the (many) times that one of the two has been injured. But going even deeper than the starting lineup, the Bulls have preferred to go with two traditional big men off the bench as well, relying on Taj Gibson at backup power forward, and a variety of backup centers, like Nazr Mohammad, Omer “The Turkish Hammer” Asik, and Kurt Thomas. Most teams have incorporated some type of stretch-4, small-ball lineup or philosophy into their lineups, whether it be starters or bench, but the Bulls have not been one of them. O’Donnell raises the idea of using Deng at the 4, not with the starters, but with the bench unit. This would slide Gibson over to the center spot at times, and would allow Tom Thibodeau more options in getting Noah some more rest (god knows his feet need it). It’s an interesting proposition. Check out O’Donnell’s piece, as he gives some interesting statistics about Deng’s ability to stretch the floor well enough, and to rebound and grind down low against potentially bigger players (although, on many nights, Deng won’t be undersized at power forward since so many teams play small now).   Personally, I would love to see it. I think putting Deng at power forward would help Derrick Rose greatly, by creating more space for Rose to drive and dish. Deng is tough and physical enough to hold is own rebounding and defending in the paint, and would be a perfect defender for other stretch-4s that Carlos Boozer or Gibson may struggle to match up with. Also, it would be another wrinkle that Bulls opponents haven’t seen, and would be a way to keep the offensive attack fresh and the opposing team on its toes. Lastly, it would help facilitate a rather good bench scoring unit. As O’Donnell notes in his article, Deng playing at the four could open up a bench unit of Kirk Hinrich, Tony Snell, Mike Dunleavy, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson. That’s four good three point shooters, along with the potential for good ball movement and spacing. I am all in favor of seeing Deng play some minutes at the four. There’s a reason the stretch-4 idea has taken over the NBA (it works), and there’s no reason for the Bulls not to embrace it. In the end, Chicago’s destiny will still be determined by their size and defensive tenacity, but adding a nice little wrinkle like this could prove a smart move. The Bulls will need every advantage possible to overcome Miami or Indiana, and this could be another bullet in the chamber.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Luol Deng
TEAMS: Chicago Bulls
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top takeaways from Sunday’s Week 3 NFL action

Odell Beckham pretends to pee like a dog after scoring TD

Jerry Jones explains why he opposes national anthem protests

Bears cornerback pulls a Leon Lett after blocked field goal

Jadeveon Clowney does the Gronk spike after defensive touchdown

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeGarrette Blount tramples Giants defenders on first-down run

WATCH: Whitney Mercilus sacks Tom Brady, Jadeveon Clowney recovers for TD

Aldon Smith reaches plea deal in DUI case, avoids jail time

WATCH: Duke Johnson scores on brilliant 19-yard run

He's back! Jamaal Charles scores first Broncos TD

LeSean McCoy stretched during national anthem

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

Bulls News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker