Deng excited for regular season

Deng had some really great quotes in the latest K.C. Johnson piece:

"I waited awhile for this, man," Deng said. "I can't tell you how confident and excited I am for the season to start."

"I just have to get my rhythm and my jumping down so I can finish at
the rim," Deng said. "I wasn't able to jump until just before training
camp. The cuts are there. I have to cut more. As we get into the rhythm
of the season, I know there will be plays where I know I will cut and
get the ball."

Deng goes on to discuss how he needs to use his versatility to help the team, and how he needs to be there every game and every practice, but it's a nice piece, so go click the link and read the whole thing.

What I find most interesting is the second quote I had up there where Deng discusses finding his cuts in the offense, but not having his timing down for leaping and finishing well.   I agree entirely with Deng's self-evaluation there as I pointed out in my season preview.   I'm also glad to hear that he's confident about getting all of that back.

I'm not sure how confident I am in him regaining his explosion, nor do I know how long such a process would take.  However, it does lift my spirits somewhat to hear that Deng has a very realistic evaluation of where he is right now and still feels good about his prospects going forward.

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  • I wish Deng the best, he has always been one of my favorite Bulls. I feel bad that many Bulls fans are out for blood with him and jump on every bad move he has made in preseason. I think we need him to be a big part of our team otherwise I dont see us doing that well. I expect him to be rusty for the first 20-30 games but with flashes of him getting into rythm.

  • Yea it is sad to read on blogs and on message boards the hate he gets. I never met him but from what I have seen he seems like a real good guy and in this league with guys like SJax and others its good to have him on our team. Now I dont expect him to avg 18 a game from the get go but if he can stay healthy and play atleast 70-75 games he will finish with a nice overall stat line for the season.

  • Hating Deng is stupid. The guy plays hard and can flat-out put the ball in the basket. He's a very good NBA player, a fringe All-Star, who has unfortunately been hit with injuries. I see a comeback year.

  • DT would you agree that many players should be making no more than 8 million a year. Its a league of fringe players being overpaid well used to, now this past offseason guys like that couldnt get deals like that because of the economy.

    Here is espns ratings: they mention Deng.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/powerranking?season=2010&week=0

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    correction I mean shouldnt be making no more than 8 million.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I read this article too, and it assuaged a lot of my own concerns about Deng. Yes, he shot poorly in the preseason and took some shots that were a bit forced. I think there is still a concern about finding his fit in the offense, but a portion of those preseason shots can probably be chalked up to getting a feel for his limits.

    Lift always takes a while to get back, and in Deng's case, it isn't surprising he hasn't been doing the type of stuff, like pylometric drills, to get drills when those would put the most stress on his legs. It's the last thing to come back. We won't know for a month or two how Deng is doing but as long as he seems on an upward slope I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as far as his athleticism.

    There were some positives for him in the preseason though. He got to the right spots on the floor (though sometimes lacked the explosion to finish the play) and that itself is a plus. He also played good D, ran the floor and had great, low turnover play (one of the gems of his game from the 06-07 season). His words in this article suggest he's learned a little bit about himself and won't put pressure on himself to score, and act, like a primary option on offense. If he plays his game and focuses on the things he does well on both ends, both Deng and the Bulls should be ok.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I think Lu will be back soon. He just needs more time.

    Part of the hate posts some of you refer to is a product, I think, of impatience. We have to stop being so impatient with this team. They are very young (Tyrus, Derrick) and some have been injured (Lu). We've made tremendous progress since last January, I believe, because of Vinnie's determination demanding players to be personally responsable for the success of the team by working hard and playing focused every night.

    I think the Bulls are going to surprise a lot of experts this year because there are so many guys who have taken to heart what VDN has asked. They understand they have a lot of talent and can win and it appears a lot of them improved over the off-season (Noah, Tyrus, Derrick)--not to mention our rookies. Add to that the re-emergence of Lu, and I see no reason why the Bulls couldn't be competing to go to the East Finals. Maybe we get there, maybe we don't but I think we definitely have the personnel in the backcourt to compete with anyone. Salmons has had a whole camp with us and Kirk has been stellar during the pre season. Oh yeah, what's that other kid's name? Derrick.

    Up front, Noah seems poised to be a beast in the middle. Tyrus is still a bit unknown how much he's improved because he's been hurt during the pre-season and much of his time on the floor has been out of position because of other injury. I think to the level that Jo and Ty improve will make a huge impact on the success of the team in terms of wins and losses. It is primarily why I think the experts are underestimating the Bulls this year. I think Tyrus and Joakim are going to be a load for opposing front courts.

    Then there's Lu. He seems to be yet another component of the Bulls that should be on the rise. If he does, it makes us that much better.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Did anybody notice how many times Luol Deng has been BLOCKED this pre-season?

    12 times, which is not good.

    He needs to either get TOUGHER or STRONGER. Take your pick.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I like the fact that they have the Bulls ranked 11th in the league, and we could be better than Utah, but maybe worse than Phoenix.

    Looking at the rankings it is not unreasonable at all for the Bulls to be the 11th best team in the league, not bad for this years team and the 2010 plan.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Did I mention he also shot 38% in the pre-season?

    Now, that's something to get EXCITED about (sarcasm). He has a lot to prove this year, so I hope he is ready to do that. I'll get EXCITED, if he plays good team basketball on a CONSISTENT basis.

    I wish him well.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    While Deng does seem like a decent human being, that is not why we are fans. While I hate guys like Steven Jackson, we do tend to end up rooting for the better player when they are ours. Just look at Dennis Rodman, no one could have been more hated as a non Bull, yet he was celebrated when he became a Bull and we won 72 games and a repeat 3 Peat.

    The "hatred' for Deng is not personal, it is with his game, or apparent lack thereof, and his being massively overpaid.

    If he was making $5, 6 or even as you say $8 million per he would not be "hated". He has no one on one ability, and is a system player, or one that needs to play off other great players, especially a point guard. He has essentially been making excuses for 3 plus years now, and it is always about finding his rythmn or fitting into the offense, which to me really means that he has no answers.

    I do hope that he commits to defense and in particualr rebounding. I have always felt that we are a much better team when Deng rebounds, 8 rpg per game minimum is what I am looking for.

    As for defense, I don't think that Deng is even a good one on one defender, so I consider it a weakness, the best we can hope for is that he neither hurts or helps us defensively.

    I haven't seen him play yet, so I will withhold any scathing remarks until after the season starts, however, based on the early returns and the past 2 seasons, I am not particularly hopefull.

  • I think Tyrus and Joakim are going to provide more front court scoring this year and more efficiently. Tyrus is capable of getting to the line quite a bit. He's as quick a PF as there is in the league and can flat out sky. He just needs to finish through contact.

    You're right about three-point shooting. We'll be fine with Kirk and John on the floor. Otherwise, Brad may be able to make up some of that. Lu and Tyrus are capable but, Im not sure learning it's an in-season activity. Especially since they have more pressing issues. Nevertheless, its a means to an end--and, there are other means like playing good defense.

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