Found August 06, 2013 on
I have a certain sense of empathy every time I see Luol Deng play. It could be the first minute of a game and I already feel bad for him. This has nothing to do with him as a player, but more about what the Chicago Bulls expected from his last season. He averaged 16.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG last season, on par with his career numbers. And while those numbers might not scream the $14 million he’s set to make this upcoming year, just watching how hard he plays for a relentless coach like Thibodeau makes him worth the money.
Deng came into last season without a fully-healed left wrist (ligament). The long season took a toll on him as he had to burden more of the load with Rose out, leading to him falling sick in the playoffs and dealing with spinal tap complications (botched lumbar puncture). Deng averaged 39 mpg during the regular season, and almost 45 mpg in the five postseason games he played in. His minutes on the court are way too high and the main culprit for the late-season injury struggles.
With Rose back and defenses focused on him, and guys like Butler and Noah continuing to improve, let’s hope that Thibodeau can finally give Deng a breather. Watching him do as much as he does for Chicago is tiring enough.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Eastern Conference will have a clear-cut top tier of 5 teams next season: the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, and New York Knicks. After that, it falls off dramatically, and teams like the Wizards, Pistons, and Bucks will be battling for the right to lose in the first round. The order of those top five (save, perhaps, Miami) will be debated and determined...
One of the premier Eastern Conference rivalries next season will be the Chicago Bulls/Miami Heat and it appears that Bulls forward Jimmy Butler decided to add some fuel to the fire with a response to a Chicago newspaper question.
Check out the below image of Jimmy’s answer to the question, “The one thing that I’d never wear”:
Jimmy Butler image courtesy of Getty Images
In a recent segment of “The Fashion Forward” in the Chicago Sun-Times, Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler shared some of his tastes in fashion and in doing so added a little flare to the Bulls-Heat rivalry when he answered “Miami Heat jersey” to “The one thing I’d never wear” question: