Tom Thibodeau almost done ruining Luol Deng's career

Tom Thibodeau almost done ruining Luol Deng's career

Maybe its the wrist. Maybe its that he played for Duke. But one thing is for sure: Tom Thibodeau continues at trying to ruin Luol Deng's career in Chicago.

If you're not familiar with Luol Deng, just turn on a Chicago Bulls game sometime and look for the guy who looks like he's running in clown shoes, or the one who prefers to not jump on his "jumpshot".

He's perhaps the only player in NBA history who can score, rebound, and assist less the more he plays.

The NBA decided last year that Luol Deng was an all-star, but perhaps the only thing he's an all-star at is handling the beating that  Tom Thibodeau has directed at him since he took over as head coach. The oft-injured small forward, under Thibs, has played more minutes than any player in the NBA over the last 2 years and change. That culminated in last night's collapse against the Bucks, in which he played 47 minutes and 18 seconds of the game.

He sat for 42 seconds.

Grant Hill has more athleticism than Luol Deng right now, so you can imagine what Deng is looking like at the end of games. Its okay, at least he doesn't match-up with Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson or Danny Granger in the eastern conference (all play the same position, and don't play over 40 minutes/game).

But the abuse is almost done. You can be certain that a 6'9" guy nearing 30 who perviously was known for injuries is certainly approaching another batch of them.

So while the Bulls are a mediocre team at best without Derrick Rose, Thibs is sure doing a good job at nailing home that point via our supposed 2nd best player Luol Deng. And no one can attest to that more than Derrick Rose himself, the guy sitting in street clothes thanks to being overplayed last year.

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  • You can't say that Rose was overplayed last year, because he was on the DL most of it. He came back, he got hurt {repeat}, until he blew his knee out. One could argue that there were excessive injuries due to the lack of training camp and compressed schedule due to the lockout, but that is a separate issue.

    Other than that, it appears that the Bulls don't have a bench this year.

  • In reply to jack:

    I agree with all of that, but Thibs has been willing to overplay certain players consistently, and rely too heavily on his starters. This year, all of a sudden, Noah is getting 40 minutes a game. Its just a recipe for disaster to consistently play guys so much. And i know its not fair, but I still feel that Rose had no business being on the court in that game against Philly. It was a freak accident, but Thibs is putting guys like Deng and Noah in jeopardy, and their numbers are sliding off too as a result.

  • As athletic as grant hill? That would be like saying your credentials are that of perez hilton. You are a terrible sports blogger. You aren't someone who lives for sports so quit writing about people who make a living off of them. If luol was so over used then why did he willingly play in Olympics and wait to heal his nagging wrist? D Rose was coming off a previous injury which had hurt his conditioning so he "left in" during garbage time to rebuild stamina. Bulls would have handled 76ers last year easily but stood no match for the eastern conference elite without rose back in prime condition. So thibs (reigning coach of year, highest award he can receive for position) was making right call

  • hey anonymous bozo -- I do live for sports. If you want to have an honest back and forth, don't start off by being insulting. You don't know me at all (and obviously don't know this is a satirical blog either) And give me a break, every Bulls fan out there wishes Deng didn't play in the Olympics, but he did it 3 months after the season ended. You're not a Bulls fan if you didn't take issue with his personal decision to play, but it was his personal decision to make. It was the Olympics, so that doesn't even apply to the NBA. The minutes he plays now are not. Does Lebron? Kobe? Dwight? CP3 play that many minutes a game? Should your current best player be playing 47 minutes vs. the Bucks? And where did all those awards get us? I'm pretty sure winning a championship is the highest honor a coach can win, not regular season coach of the year, clown, something Byron Scott won with a team that finished 42-42. He made the wrong call getting extra time for his best player, the MVP, against Philly. And you'll never know what the outcome would have been if we had Rose. I can guarantee you that that oft-injured Deng will come back if he keeps playing 47 minutes a game.

  • In reply to Graham Hill:

    Winning a championship is the highest TEAM award no idividual or coach can win that on his own. So yea coach of the year is the highest award he can win. It wasn't so much his physical conditioning as much as they needed to work out kinks, and try and get him in rythm, and have everyone play together. The fact you title an article with the phrase ruining dengs career, just because he played 47 minutes in a game in November vs the bucks makes me question you as a fan. D rose will tell you himself he wanted to be out there, he thought it was necessary to get back to playing at an MVP level to get extra reps. I don't understand how ppl can question or second guess a coach/ player of thibs or rose. If they both thought it was the right call and necessary to get extra reps to beat maimi who are you or me to second guess them??? They are professionals and wanted bulls to win that championship more than me or u And it woulda meant a lot more to them as well. If you are a true bulls fan you remember the tim Floyd days(40-190 record as coach) and should be writing articles on how great thibs is because these days won't last long with our ownership( never trust anyone who ran Phil and micheal outta town)

  • And deng wasn't defensive player of year but was 2nd team all defense thanks to thibs style. Do you think thibs had anything thing to do with rose finally getting outside jumper that elevated him from all-star to MVP level in one off season.

  • No Thibs didn't give Rose an outside jumper. Rose works out with Russell Westbrook in L.A. all summer, and when he showed up after an off-season he had a shot. I think Thibs is a good coach, but I think that the minutes situation is a problem. It CULMINATED in his 47 minute performance. I'm not saying that one game is the impetus for my article. And players always want to play, but its not the coaches job to let them play as much as they want to play. Its his job to set rotations, which is why teams like the Lakers and Heat sit Lebron to start the fourth no matter what, and they stay under 40 minutes. Look, no question the Bulls have issues. There are more obvious issues. However, the way Thibs has played his players is a developing issue, in my mind.

  • In reply to Graham Hill:

    nice one

  • And the Bulls were the eastern conference elite. It was the Bulls and the Heat. Did you see the year before when we made it to the ECF? Was Rip not an upgrade (slightly) over Bogans? If we were healthy, why would you concede we had no chance against Miami? See, if you're going to take one stance that I'm wrong about Deng and I don't know what I'm talking about, then say we had no chance against anyone "elite" in the East, then you sound like a misinformed clown. Whats your point? just to talk some trash with an anonymous name? And Rose was left in to work on his stamina??? Did you watch the game? He was put back in when the lead dwindled even though it was still safe..it had nothing to do with improving his stamina. And if D-Rose, with other worldly athleticism was having stamina issues, then he had no business going back in the game to squeak out more minutes. That's not the way it works in the NBA. No team uses playoff games to improve players' stamina. The bench is where people improve their stamina. Practice. Off-season. If you don't have stamina and its the playoffs, then you should be playing limited minutes, which is every other team's policy in the NBA. But then again it had nothing to do with that and its another flaw in your argument. And you should probably go watch some more NBA and read less Perez Hilton.

  • In reply to Graham Hill:

    We were the elite the year before an maimi still took the series 4-1. We could have been elite last year if team was clicking. We had the pieces but lockout and injuries threw off timing. That's why rose was out there against Philly. Not ideal time to try gelling but you can't get game reps in practice and it was playoff basketball.

  • In reply to Graham Hill:

    That Perez hilton comment stung huh? Well it wasn't nearly as far off as your comparison that deng is as athletic as grant hill. If you wanna have a serious back and forth about sports with me maybe you shouldnt start off by being insulting to real Chicago bulls fans and say something that has no substance, and is completely your opinion,that states something so boldly false. Any real fan knows how much thibs has helped deng improve compared to his defense/ inconsistentness in the Scott skiles/ del negro days. He's still not completely consistent but he's better now.

  • Louls numbers are only up 2 minutes a game and Durrants numbers are on pace to be what dengs where last year. He's had to play two minutes more a night because rose isnt out there to take up 37 minutes a game. All the top players are all over 37 minutes a game. That includes Durrant, harden, Kobe, lebron, rondo, Aldridge, love, and Johnson who you mentioned plays same position as deng but is clearly a 2 gaurd

  • Exactly --- Deng IS NOT A TOP PLAYER! He doesn't change the game like Durant, Lebron, Harden, Kobe, or Rondo, love, aldridge, so stop comparing him to them. His minutes should never eclipse any of those guys. He's less effective when he's on the court that long, especially if he's guarding any of them because they're all better than him.

  • Ryan, someday you'll grow up, move out of your parents' house, and realize that maybe you shouldn't gush so much over your team just because its who you root for. And the Grant Hill comment is what people refer to as a "joke". So you can't be a true fan if you are critical of Luol Deng? I guess that makes about half the fans in Chicago not true fans, because PLENTY of people have been critical of him. And sorry, his better play doesn't have everything to do with Thibodeau. His play is down. He's healthy, and he's matured. He came into the league at 19 and was hurt all the time. Thibs is a great coach, but he's not out there in the offseason teaching these guys how to dribble shoot and pass. He teaches them a philosophy and a scheme. Did you ever play basketball? Because you don't understand the game that much. You'd rather gush over your coach and players and dismiss reality. Of course Lebron and Durant log a ton of minutes. This is the first year Rondo has gone over 37 minutes in his career. Luol Deng plays 41 mpg, 3-4 more than all the other star players. Thats a lot bud. Listen, put some pants on the next time you watch a Bulls game.

  • In reply to gbus7:

    I'm a weak fan? Ur a pussy ass blogger who talkes shit about players and coaches with more skill in there pinky than you have in your whole body. Id love to see you and that faggot ass November mustache out on the court you fucking sissy

  • Wow, classy...And you'd get crossed

  • Honestly, if you want me on the court that can be arranged no problem. I already sent you an email to yoru personal email address. The mustache was for raising money for disadvantaged youth. I won't apologize for being able to grow facial hair, and I'm fine with you not being attracted to me either. What other personal things do you have to say? How many curse words and slurs can you say in one paragraph? Come on, if this is therapy, get it out brother.

  • Come on Graham!
    Ruining Luol Deng...Thibs resurrected Luol...All Star...Defensive Player of the Year, developed DRose into a MVP, continues to develop Noah to an elite center, created chemistry and trust with a group of bench players that was second to none and if held in tack would have further developed and carried this team through tough injuries and difficult times. It's an absolute joke that Lucas and Watson walked when we knew we were short handed at the point. Nate....come on. Play Teague....are you serious. This organization is about making money and can care less about winning. Management is forcing Thibs to tank and trying to use the media to influence him. The bench that they assembled belongs in the D-League. If there's any blame for ruining anyone on this team it belong to the ownership and front office. Shame on you for thinking Chicago fans would believe that Thibs was to blame for the rotten hand he was dealt and is jeopardizing his most trusted players. The minutes are a message back to ownership that Thibs wants to win and win now. Chicago has been patient long enough. It's time for Jerry to move on and turn the organization over to an owner that is truly committed to winning.

  • In reply to GarSuxs:

    I don't disagree with a word you say about the organization. They made cheap, non-basketball decisions in the offseason. Although, I do think Nate Robinson is an upgrade over Watson or Lucas. Sure, Lucas had a few great games, but Watson was garbage at the end and is doing nothing in Brooklyn. The problem is in the starting lineup. There's simply no athleticism without Derrick Rose. Luol Deng has capped as a player. All of his percentages are down despite minutes up. He didn't have a foul or a free throw attempt last night, which should be shocking to you. He is proving that he's not a viable second option on a contender. He was a throw-in as an all-star. Did he deserve to get in over Josh Smith last year? NO WAY! But our record was good, so we got a 2nd all-star. And your argument that Thibs is trying to win now doesn't make sense. He should be smart enough to know that D-Rose isn't on the court, so winning right now isn't realistic. What should be happening is seeing what we do have. What we should see is a coach willing to develop guys and use them in an actual rotation. We still have Taj Gibson, but why isn't he playing?? What about the emergence of Jimmy Butler? He looks good at times but only gets 10 minutes/game. Yeah, Asik is gone, so is Watson/lucas/korver/brewer. But so what! The problem is in the starting lineup and the minutes they are playing. He played his starters all 40 plus minutes and faded at home against the Bucks. We're not the same, losing games in a row. You will be eating your words when Noah or Deng has to miss time from being worn down.

  • In reply to Graham Hill:

    Im glad you Atleast agree Robinson is upgrade, and captain kirk is a great player to back up rose. This team is built around rose way more than any team we have had. Korver needed an offense that revolved around him, imglad he's gone. Deng is a true #2 on a team and flourishes when he isn't main guy. When focus is on deng he doesn't produce. Rose is going to make everyone around him look that much more athletic, and no one is mentioning boozer is actually playing at a higher level than before.

  • Kobe - Howard, Wade - Lebron - Bosh, Garnett - Pierce - Rondo, Westbrook - Durant, CP3 - Griffin, D-Will - Joe Johnson, Rose with any single one of those guys is better than Rose - Deng. The only possible number 2 we have is Noah. Deng is a 3rd option. But unless Noah can get back to showing us 17 and 10, then the Bulls are short a 2nd option, and will be devoid of it as long as they consider Deng to be that person, plain and simple. Deng has done nothing in Rose's absence to make the Bulls better. His numbers scoring are the same with more minutes and a lower shooting percentage. My headline was meant to be "Grabbing", but the bottom line is Luol Deng is not a number 2. If he was, we would have beaten Philly last year, but he stooped to 14 points a game in that series. Its foolish.

  • In reply to gbus7:

    And I agree that these are the "good years", but why waste them? We have players in Taj and Deng that could easily be traded for players with more upside, yet we commit to them and keep hoping that Rose is going to do everything when he comes back

  • In reply to gbus7:

    And to say we wasted them??? We had best record in league twice in a row. Our first year we beat the teams we should of but where outmatched against maimi. Last year we made some of the changes that could have elevated us above maimi but with lock out and injuries we never got to get comfortable with each other, forcing thibs to play Rose and other starters together with leads, that lead to injuries but it was a chance we needed to take in his eyes obviously. Do you think he's just dumb and had no reason to play rose? If rose and him felt they weren't playing right is the only reason a coach of year would keep him in game, they knew an injury was possible and thought it was worth it

  • In reply to gbus7:

    Deng was an all star last year, "slid" to 14 a game in playoffs cuz he had to go one on one wit iggy all series. Iggy had bad numbers too, Reggie rose has had d rose working on his shot since high school, and the training with Westbrook wasn't nearly 1/2 the time he put in the gym that year. Their are articles where rose praises thibs for helping his already determined work ethic. Rose isn't even 25 he's just hitting his prime, when he comes back and February/ march and team looks great then thibs will be a genius, and no one remembers deng played 47 minutes in a game that meant nothing. Noah is way farther from being a teams number two guy offensively than deng/ taj/ or boozer tho. He's a great player no doubt but his offense is not his strong suite, though it has improved

  • Wow -- I was almost digging you until you said that Taj is closer to being a #2 offensive guy than Noah. Did you hear Deng just say that "Noah is the best center in the East"? So thats only based on rebounding and shot-blocking?

  • In reply to gbus7:

    No it's based on deng having a bais opinion lol. Noah has been great don't get me wrong but he cant score 25 in a game. Taj won't ever average that but can do it once in awhile. Noah will be the first to tell you hi offense isn't his strong point. He isn't weak by any means but as a consistent number two in a half court offense? Not even close. When games on line and close and bulls need offensive you always see Noah or boozer subbed out for taj and Noah always gets subbed back in for defense... Wish I could say same for boozer

  • Taj Gibson's career high in points is 22. In games the Bulls won this year, Noah is AVERAGING 17 points a game. He scored 23 opening night, more than Taj's career high. Taj is junk, Deng is overrated, and you're a weak fan.

  • Oh so Andre Iguodala is why Deng did nothing (who was playing with an injured achilles all playoffs). Thats exactly my point, Rose skill is different than work ethic. By work ethic, Reggie Evans and Joakim Noah should be averaging 30 ppg. Little thing called skill, and Thibodeau, sorry, he didn't have anything to do with Rose becoming a superstar. He's helped form a solid team that plays good team defense, but what happens when we need points??? Everyone gets outta the way so Rose can cross over the defense and hopefully pull out wins. Thats Thibodeau as much as it was Phil Jackson who was the reason Michael put up all those 50 point games and hit game winning shots. Derrick Rose is a superstar on any team in this league when healthy. Thibs did a great job with the team. This is more about the organization pulling the trigger and trading a guy like Deng to get Rose another counterpart. Deng is not that guy. Its that simple, sooner you figure it out the more knowledgable fan you'll be

  • In reply to gbus7:

    And when did Noah average 17 points a game lol?? 11.7 was what he averaged when rose was MVP. It dropped to 10.2 last year and so far this year he's 13.4 with no rose and that will only drop when rose is back because Noah is averaging 4 shots more a game than normal since rose isn't shooting

  • He was averaging it through the first 10 games dufus. Last few games, with tons of minutes, he's dropped way off.

  • In reply to GarSuxs:

    I'm also not sure you realize that Luol Deng was not the defensive player of the year.

  • If you're going to use words like "faggot" don't comment here. Its my blog, and I don't pretend to work for the Bulls nor know anything more than a fan. This is my opinion so if you have to resort to homophobic slurs then go start your own blog. Do something. Don't read my blog. If you want to talk offline further, particularly "Grahamsticktopolitics" I'll gladly give you my email address and we can talk further. If you think I'm hiding behind anything, then take a look at my photo and name on this blog. If you'd even like to meet up for a friendly chat or game of basketball I'm all for it

  • In reply to gbus7:

    I wonder if this guy is watching the game tonight. Every time Joakim scores I think about the guy who thinks Taj is the 2nd option on this team haha. I mean nothing against taj but seriously 27 Pts, 19 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk and the game's not even over yet!

  • In reply to FutureGM:

    And by this guy i mean Grahamsticktopolitics

  • Yeah, this guy was going to disagree with me no matter what. Even said I'd be a clown on the basketball court but I welcomed him to a basketball game anytime for any amount of money. But anyone who watches the Bulls sees that Joakim Noah is the 2nd best player on the team, and knows that with him healthy we might even beat Philly last year in the playoffs. I don't mind Deng, I just mind being an above average team, and thats all the Bulls will be until they decide they are going to dramatically upgrade either the small forward or shooting guard position on their team. Deng has the most value in a trade. If you are a "futureGM", then I hope you replace GarPax and get it done!!

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    You realize Tom Thibodeau is the person that made Lu valuable in the first place? If anything, VDN is the one that ruined Lu's career and Thibs is the one that salvaged it. That this is even an argument is a credit to Thibs resurrecting Lu's career, rather than "destroying" it.

  • In reply to Stoops Noh:

    I totally agree that Thibodeau resurrected his career. Although, Lu's best year as a pro came under Skiles in 2007. I know I overstated things in my headline (its a headline), but my main point is that I do think he has artificially high value, and it would be wise to consider dealing him to upgrade in athleticism.

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