Deng the Destroyer (of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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.


17 Responses to Deng the Destroyer (of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

  1. Tony B August 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    We’ll definitely need Deng to be healthy for ultimate success. I tend to look at the glass-half-full aspect of this and say that his body will be in top physical condition per playing for GB, therefore keeping him from the ebb and flow that a summer off would assist. I believe that if an individual can stay in pique physical condition they have less chance of injury. That being said… I’m being EXTREMELY optimistic in my outlook. Good to see that he’s playing well though, and I too am generally happy for him. He’s a great guy and an above-average ball player, but hasn’t seemed able to enjoy his earnings as much as he should per his stigma per his contract. Per per… purrr

    OK this is getting weird.

    rod blagojevich August 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    u kno luol deng will be out for the season

  3. PTFC August 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    I know the level of competition is weaker over seas but 38 points (and not sure the exact numbers from the other games but I know he was beasting) is pretty great.

    I think we forget he is only 25 years old. Players are still improving and getting better at that age. With Loul still having a few more years to reach his prime and no longer being scoring option #2 for a team (which isn’t a good fit for him), we could possibly see the best Loul Deng so far this season. With defenses worrying about other players and helping on other players (Rose, boozer, and heck even kyle korver), getting open and scoring points may come a little easier for him. I can see a lot of “draw the defense in and dish” from Boozer and Rose to guys like Deng, Korver, and Bogans all day long.

    hardtimes August 27, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    38pts and 13rebs are great at any level. As far as you guys commenting on Deng being injured. He didnt miss any games last year and he seems to be getting healthier every year since he had that shin injury which is a serious injury. He will be fine this year. A lot of players get injured and it is no guarantee that any player wont be injured and miss games on any team. Michael Jordan had a serious injury to his leg early in his career and after that he never missed any time due to injury.

    1st man August 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    you go boy… bulls all day… like i said on the Derrick Rose was the best player on Team USA for a night article… because of the very much improved Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah before he got injured was averaging 12 and 12… with the d on rose, boozer, and even kyle… he should be 14 and 13… and luo with the d less focused on him should have a great yr if not at least 15 and 9 with a steal and block a game…

    tiffac August 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    I hope the Bulls can tone down the minuets of Boozer and Deng. So they can avoid injury with Korver and Gibson as backup it should give our starters some added breathing room to rest, especially against low tier teams.

    We are deep and we should use it wisely, especially with the ugly schedule the Bulls will have this start of the season.

  7. BullsFan22 August 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    I was actually rooting for Macedonia and Bosnia to go through, but was keeping a close eye on Luol. I like the guy, and I really hope he stays healthy the next few years so everyone can see how good he can really be. If he does stay healthy, and i agree with you Matt, the Bulls will be a top three team in the East and will be a darkhorse or even a strong contender for the title right away.

    Nicky C August 28, 2010 at 5:28 am #


    How about a post on the “Jordan Rides the Bus” 30 for 30 documentary????

    Matt McHale August 28, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Nicky C — I’ll see what I can do.

    luvabullnj August 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Well, at least we are singing the praises for Deng before he is traded for nothing as Kirk was. Though I understand Kirk’s deal had to be done. I thought Luol had a fine season last year, both offensively and defensively. That said, I’d trade Deng for Carmelo in a heartbeat. IMHO management ought push hard to get that deal done BEFORE ‘Melo is a free agent, even with the HIGH risk of losing him after one season. Hopefully a season of success with Rose, Noah and Boozer, ‘Melo might want to stick around and try for a championship in Chi’town.
    Unfortunately, if ‘Melo and CP3 wind up in NYC together, that would make not one(Heat) but two(NYC) (maybe three[Magic]) teams with young talent just a notch above the Bulls young talent and a decade worth of “close but no Cigar”.
    So time to start the “Let’s get ‘Melo” campaign. LOL.

    inkybreath August 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    luv – I have to disagree on one point. You cannot trade a player like Deng, who is 25 and proven NBA scorer/player, given a HIGH risk of Anthony leaving. The only way that trade is made is if Carmelo is staying in Chicago. (Unless they had one hell of a back-up plan.)

    BULL4EVER August 29, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    This Chicago team will be totally ready to bring down those boys from South Beach,not to mention the Bulls swept them in the 2007 Round 1 playoff series with a Shaq led Miami team.43 percent of sportsnation thinks Miami will rule the NBA for the next decade,while just 9 percent of sportsnation knows these damn good old Bulls will rule the NBA for the next 5-10 decades,forget just one decade.Chicago will return to that good old 90’s glory they once had in the past and they will stay that way for the next 5-10 decades because an all-superstar team has never won NBA titles and never will win NBA titles,just ask those 2004 Lakers with 4 superstars that lost to those classy Detroit Pistons in 5 games.Class and chemistry has always won NBA titles,just ask the Bulls,Spurs and the Pistons with their respective past greatness. GO BULLS BABY!!!!!

  13. TexasBearsFan August 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Man, I hope I’m around to watch the Bulls win for the next 5 decades.

    luvabullnj August 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    inky – That’s where Bulls management needs to earn their money. They have to do the due diligence and make sure they have a good shot at retaining ‘Melo after the season. Hopefully ‘Melo can “see” what we Bulls fans see in this team. A rising star point guard, a reliable low post scorer/rebounder, a solid “do the dirty work” center and quality role players that puts the Bulls ahead of the Knicks as far as contending for the title. Of course the Knicks are trying to add both CP3 and ‘Melo to Amar’e to form their super trio but CP3 is still another year away. Of course ‘Melo has a lot of other options too:
    Orlando could trade Vince Carter (exp contract) or Rashard Lewis for him.
    The NJ Nets have cap space, a high caliber point guard and an All-star center in the making in Brook Lopez (as much as I love Noah, Lopez will probably make all-star before Noah). Plus the Nets have a young talented Rookie Contract (Williams) to trade for ‘Melo.
    Dallas – they have a knack for pulling off a trade even while constantly being about the salary cap.
    Portland – has a promising young team like the Bulls
    Lakers – can never count out LA and they have Bynum to offer, and maybe thinking about the inevitable transition from Kobe to the next Laker legend.

    Dj August 30, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    @ luvabullnj

    Like I said before in the past about Melo, he clearly wants to go to NY! hint: he got married their and he is a NY dude duh! lol Even if the Bulls do manage to get him, he will leave the Bulls for sure next season. (mark my words) Players like Melo don’t plan on winning, they just plan on making their big money and thats about it. Why do you think Denver has not won a championship title with Melo? And don’t say he had a garbage team lol

    That is why I rather keep Deng, he is humble guy. He is a solid player that can play on both ends on the floor when he is at 70%-100% healthy and he does not complain about his role. Sure he is an over paid player but, he gets the job done on offense and defense, what the bulls want him to do. Plus he is only 25 years old 1 year younger then Melo.

    BoppinBob August 31, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    DJ, why do you say he is overpaid? He is a top 10 player at his position and is amoung the top 10 paid to play his position.

  17. Matt Steigenga September 2, 2010 at 3:24 am #

    LOL at the guy that said the Knicks would be a Title contendor with CP3, Melo, and AMare. Those 3 can play offense but Defensively they will suck, especially with D’antoni coaching them. Paul is a good defender but that will go away with the new system of D’antoni he is in. And they will get pounded on the glass because Amare isn’t a tenacious rebounder like Noah or Boozer. And they will have no one else behind them. That NEw York Big 3 will be set up to be mid 2000s decade poor man’s version of the Phoenix Suns and we know how many NBA Finals that team played in.

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