Thanks to their 94-85 overtime win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain improved their record to 6-1 and earned a spot in next year’s European Championships. I know stats can lie, but I’m pretty sure that victory wouldn’t have been possible without Luol Deng’s 38 points and 13 rebounds.
Said Deng: “I just wanted to come out tonight and be aggressive.”
Mission accomplished, Luol.
Deng added: “The support we got here was great and we really appreciate it. Now I’m excited about playing for Britain in the finals next year. I love playing for GB and it was tough watching the Europeans last year when I was injured.”
Of course, credit should also go to Deng’s teammate and former NBA baller Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who had 32 points, 21 boards and 4 blocked shots. Considering the fact that Mensah-Bonsu is currently out of the Association and inked with the Spanish team Caja Laboral, you have to figure that his and Deng’s numbers are somewhat inflated by the level of competition.
Still, it’s nice to see Luol playing so well on the international stage. This has been an emotional summer for Deng…and a successful one. I’m genuinely happy for the guy.
That said, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being a teeny bit concerned. Look, we all know about Deng’s injury history. He tends to break down for 10-20 games per season even after taking the summer off. Will his summer workload be a problem during the coming season? Because it’s not like Deng has been playing casual basketball. He’s been tearing it up over there.
I think the Bulls can be one of the league’s top teams next season. I really do. But they’re going to need a healthy Luol Deng for at least 70-75 games for that to happen.