Tom Thibodeau stops practice when Deng shoots a long 2


Either Thibodeau reads my blog or great minds think a like (or we’re both morons), but I suggested that if I coached the Bulls I’d fine Luol Deng for every jumper he takes within 2 feet of the three point line.

Apparently, Thibodeau agrees.

Thibodeau has even green-lighted Luol Deng to take corner 3-pointers
that he has developed accuracy on, even stopping a recent practice
because Deng had launched a long jumper from just inside the arc.

My Hero! I don’t think Luol Deng should entirely give up the mid range game, but he does need to give up the 21 foot jumper.  The worst shot in basketball is that jumper from about 20 feet to the three point line, it’s only marginally easier than a three, but it gives you only 66% of the points.   

Deng probably hits that shot around 40% of the time, he probably knocks down the three 35% of the time instead.   Track that in points over 100 shots, and you have 80 points for the long twos and 105 points for the threes.   

Missed long jumpers tend to lead to long rebounds and transition opportunities for the opponent, so there are certainly times where you’ll take lower efficiency on shots that score more consistently, give you better rebounding opportunities on a miss, and limit the opponents chance to get out in transition. 

That said, the long mid range jumper doesn’t offer nearly enough improvement in consistency to negate it’s lack of points per possession.  

The Bulls have a lot of mid range shooters, and those guys need to knock down mid range shots, but the vast majority of the time that shot should come from 20 feet and in while the jumper between 20-23 should remain largely out of the offense and replaced with a three pointer.

The fact that Thibodeau recognizes this isn’t surprising, but the fact that he’s enforcing this so rigidly gives me the warm cozy feeling, because I don’t think Deng would change otherwise.


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  • Love that we have an actual COACH now that has common NBA sense! This really is making me feel even better about the upcoming season...hope bulls improve enough under Thib to get him coach of the year during his tenure. That means we could be fighting for the top spot in the East sooner than once thought.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    I knew that TT was going to be my kind of coach, maybe he can be our Jerry Sloan on steriods.

  • This wouldn't be a problem if we traded him for Melo. Just, I'm just sayin'.

  • In reply to CPBuff22:

    Despite the fact that Deng has a higher career 3p%?
    Despite the fact that Deng had a higher 3p% last year? ... by a fair amount.
    Despite the fact that Deng has a higher career FG%?
    Despite the fact that Deng had a higher FG% last year?

    Despite the fact that among Small Forwards last year, Carmelo shot more times from the 16-23feet range (490), than any other Small Forward ... and more than Deng (468). And incidentally, Melo and Deng shot the same percentage from that distance (40%).

    When did Carmelo turn into this mythical NBA Superstar?

  • In reply to Silverwulf:


  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    There are a lot of people who can only comprehend ONE statistic- points per game.

    Melo is a better SCORER than Deng, no doubt.

    But Deng has the edge in every other facet of the game, and it's not like he's Dennis Rodman on offense.

  • In reply to bullsville:

    Those people are called Ben Goedon fans.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    As I have been saying since this mess started Melo is a volume scorer, maybe the leagues best(I kind of like Monta Ellis as my volume scorer), but in reality for the Bulls he would be a taller Ben Gordon, who can't shoot threes, but can dribble three steps without creating a turnover, and can create and make some shots at the rim without spastically flailing and falling into the stands.

    Would I trade Deng for him sure, but it might wreck the teams Chemistry. I woould love to have a private conversation with TT on Deng vs Melo, I doubt that he thinks that Melo is even as valuable as Paul Pierce.

  • In reply to CPBuff22:

    Yes! Yes!!! YEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!

    Thank you Mr. Thibs. Now for some # crunching.

    Since the Bulls are usually solid defensively I often choose to look at our teams as a simple math problem: how do we get to 100 pts? Last year the Bulls were good for 97.5 points per game. I'd actually like to see us get back to where we were when BG was around, about 102 ppg. I've got my own estimates about what kind of numbers each guy should be putting up individually but, my question for the board is this, Do you think "team philosophy" is worth 5 points per game??

  • Good morning....Happy Saturday to everybody!!!

    As I have said for awhile now, the SF position is the key position for the Bulls success.


    #1.) Luol Deng needs to turn into Paul Pierce. Maybe Thibs can produce that.

    #2.) Trade for Carmelo Anthony. Maybe Paxson and Forman can produce that.

    The Bulls need either one of those things to happen, if they expect to win titles.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Umm NO.

    #1.) Luol Deng doesnt need to turn into anyone.

    #2.) We Dont NEED Melo. You just WANT him.


  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Agreed! Luol needs to focus on helping this team and doing so does NOT mean he neeeds to mimic anyone...he needs to play well off the ball, take more threes, and get to the line as much as he did last year.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    So if the Bulls trade Rose, Noah and Boozer for Melo they will win titles?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    i love this article.. this made me smile before i read the rest after seeing what he did..

    but once i did i scrolled to the comments and yet people still find a way to be negative on one of the most best stories.. this is what seperates good and great coaches..and this is def not what a good coach does but only a great one..

    melo isnt coming its over.. mr happy leave this website please.. for you to say deng needs to turn into one of the greatest players in celtic history is retarted and no the more you look at this bulls team.. there just a rudy,rush,young or parker and some quality center play away from really competing for the ecf's.. no to melo anymore.. he isnt worth 2 top ten players at their position and 2 1st round draft picks? way..

    rush and parker are more easy to attain..and talks are nyk doesnt like how turiaf and amare play because of the lack of offense and potiential especially when you have anthony randolph whos nearly 7'

    like i said rush and parker can start more on this team than rudy and young because they can play within the offense and both play better defense..

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Was that before, after, or during the time that you said that power forward(bosh) was the most important position for the Bulls.

    Or was it shooting guard(Nick young), or was it point guard(before Rose, during Hinrich), or was it center before Noah surprised everybody but me and became a man.

    Yep, you hit the nail on the head, there are indeed five positions on a basketball team, and they are all important to building a championship team.

    Where would we be without your genious.

  • YESSSSSS!! I official pronounce Coach Thibs COY or Coach of the Day at least!! I wish NBATV or Espn would do a live training camp for the Bulls like they're doing for the Lakers and Heat so i couldve seen this LIVE!

  • Thought of you when I heard this one, Doug. It may not end up being a big deal, but it certainly gives me a warm feeling in my bosom. Thibs is looking good.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    In your "bossom" lol too funny! I know what ya mean tho

  • In reply to muhammond:

    In your "bossom" lol too funny! I know what ya mean tho

  • Yeah, I know if the LeBron-less Cavs can get their scrimmage game on NBATV im sure they could squeeze the Bulls in somewhere but like you said its up to the Bulls. Would've been nice though...

  • DENG vs. MELO vs. PIERECE:

    In the playoffs...

    Luol Deng - 18ppg, 6rpg and 1.5apg
    Carmelo Anthony - 24ppg, 7rpg and 3apg
    Paul Pierce - 24ppg, 8rpg and 4apg

    Deng needs to be more of an all-around OFFENSIVE threat, if the Bulls want to win.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Blah blah blah those numbers are very close! The team makes up the difference...your ideas about single pkayers leading to championships is flawed. Teams win more MJs out there...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    So let's see ... 2 #1 scoring options vs. a #2 scoring option, who will now probably be a #3 scoring option ... and you want him to score more.

    Sure, that makes sense.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    You are en fuego.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    YES!!!!!!!!! IM SICK OF THAT CRAP SHOT!!!! Whoever told him to start shooting it is a idiot. Being able to pressure the opposing teams defense is big. Bulls need to learn how to get teams in foul trouble. The great players know how to do that. How is Dung helping us by taking long jumpers like he does? The answer is he isnt helping us...if anything he is helping the defense. All you have to do is put a hand in his face. We already have our PG and SG in the backcourt, Deng is just making us lose another rebounder by taking those stupid shots. Thib probably stopped the practice because he knew how easy it is to guard that. If im any team in the league, all im doing is putting a hand in the face of Dung. Thats all you have to do with him. Thats the difference between Dung and Melo....Melo isnt a pansy, melo can post up better, Melo can draw fouls, an Melo is a better scorer. Bulls need to get him either now or around the deadline...because he could help put us over the top.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Forget Melo he's not a winner...our team is just fine as is. Now that we actually have a coach our team will have a new look and feel. All the doubters will be silenced.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Forget Melo he's not a winner...our team is just fine as is. Now that we actually have a coach our team will have a new look and feel. All the doubters will be silenced.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Glad to see someone's actually coaching this year. Deng is not the disaster that many people make him out to be. As Doug pointed out in a previous article, he has many skills. I agree he needs to improve his 3pt shot, but I would also like to see him improve his focus. It seems he gets a ton of points early and then disappears.
    If we have to give up Noah to get Melo, I say no because it takes away our advantage in the front court over the heat. Now if you can keep Noah and by some miracle get Melo, then let's make a deal.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    That's what Deng needs to work on, along with his 3pt. shot.

    He'll become an elite SF, if he gets his ass in the post and works over his opponents.

    I'm not sure he can or will. That's why I think the Bulls need Melo.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    All ur doing is pointing out ways for deng to either "become" Melo or else be traded for him! Your points are not based on anything but opinion. As has been mentioned over and over: Melo gets his points from volume not efficiency. In all of his years in the league his "style of play" has not made his team anymore successful than Deng and the Bulls. Really the biggest difference is that Deng hasnt played as much due to injury. However, knowing Deng's skill-set I would rather have him (healthy) over Melo bc he is less maintenance. While Melo would def want the offense shaped around him...deng can be successful "in" the offense without disrupting its flow. Melo works mostly off of isolations and is not as adept at passing as deng. I would much rather give our new team a chance before jumping to the conclusion that we NEED Melo...i just don't think thats true.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Deng's post play was actually much better last year than in the past. I have watched him since he came into the league and he was much more physical last year, which also what led to his increased free throw attempts last year. Why is there this talk all of a sudden about needing Deng to be some superstar. He isn't, and probably never will.

    What he does need to be is a strong 3rd option. And with the attention Rose and Boozer will receive from opponents and the overall skill upgrade across the roster he will be just that. I have not looked up a bunch of stats to support this next statement, but I'm pretty sure most teams do not have a third option that averages 17/7. If he stays healthy, stays aggressive, and connescts on 37% from 3pt land things should be fine.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    Melo's strengths- Being agressive,Go to Scorer, ball handling, creating for himself, drawing fouls, getting to the line, hitting shots (open or being guarded),quick 1st step, Post game,Great Basketball IQ, rebounding, crunch time performer,passion for the game, Not injury prone, All Star lock every year

    Dengs strengths- hitting a open 20 ft jumper, rebounding, slashing,decent on the break,decent bball IQ, passion for the game

    Melo is WAYYY better then Dung....not even a Bulls fans need to stop over valuing our players so much. Thats why we had Kirk Hinrich for so many years....same with Deng. Deng will never.....EVER make a All star game imo. Like i said before, if there was no Maimi Heat....I Would absolutely love our team, but since Maimi has Bron,Wade an Bosh....i dont see us getting pass them in a 7 game series. We will see what happens though.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    no one said we wanted to keep deng.. if any problems you need to understand is how much we wanted kirk and deng out..
    obvs melo is better than deng.. but if deng is a top 10 sf and melos number 3 and i know the top 3 has the top 10 players..but deng cant be ">>>>>>>>" that bad.. this article should have most of us happy because if deng gets a 3 pointer and atleast plays 74 games then what are we goina say bad about him now?

    melo will likely now end up in new orleans or new york come oct 11 when new orleans can include ariza in that deal with peja(15 mill exp) 2 first and maybe give west for martin or take back birdman..

  • In reply to Csharp:

    honestly what really seperates us from title contenders exculding a trade for quality sg is..

    injury first and foremost

    joakim noah in the post

    luol deng(i'll just leave it at that our third option needs to be cant just be rose and boozer..deng has to bring 16+ nightly with 8 boards sure his scoring will go down but the way he scores it..3 point shooting and has to worry more defensively than he ever did his entire career)

    rose's not shooting,not defense remember we had gordon on a top 3 d and rose is far better..but free throw attempts.. yup free throws.. look at durant and every 3rd year player.. there free throw attempts is whats truely differnet.

    and boozer... please play 75+ and please dont look lost on d.. thats it..just three of those keys can get us in ecfs contention..just 3.. were that good..

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Schaumburgfan +2 we do need a SG....but ya, when Rose is out of the game and we need offense from someone...Deng will need to create something...hopefully he continues to use his post up game.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Deng is a vital piece to the Bulls team but if the Bulls brass can pull off a trade for Melo without giving up Noah, then the Bulls should absolutely pull the trigger on that deal. The Bulls need to keep an eye on NY cause they are in high desperation mode to try and acquire Carmelo. The trade deadline should be very interesting.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I know I might come across as some overly optimistic nut bag fan, but I got Bulls fever baby! The only cure is a chamionship.

    Predictions if the Bulls keep the current roster intact:
    3 All-Stars- Rose, Boozer, Noah/Deng
    Thibadeau coach of the year
    Rose 1st team all NBA
    2 players shooting over 40% from 3 land
    Noah 1st team all defense
    Noah most improved player (cumulative effect from last 2 seasons, but big jump this year as well)
    Conference finals against the Heat

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    1st team nba is never changing..

    howard.. its set in stone for the next 3-4 years til kobe drops..

    noah wou;dnt make it either.. he needs to defend the post rather than the paint or weakside.. noah is a great defender dont get me wrong.. but he isnt defending what he should be .. and thats the post.. plus noahs number cant go any higher..only blocks.. playing with boozer and now under thibs.. everyones going for rebounds..11-13 rebounds and just 10-13 points is what he did anyways before injury..

    plus boozer only gets on if a injury happends.

    stoudemire,howard,chris bosh,bogut or lopez or maybe both.

    only ones i can agree with are thibs and maybe conference finals with we can get a quality sg and asik or thomas exceed expectations..but we arent far behind barring any injury..thats for sure.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Sorry to burst your bubble but Rose has no shot, he won't even make 3rd team.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    While he is at it, he NEEDS to change his name to, I hear that Larry Bird is available, as is Scottie Pippen.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Regarding Race being a factor: I present to you Kobe Bryant. Most sports fans, black and white, largely dismiss what happened at this point and respect Kobe for his performance and achieveiments.

    His jersey is #1 in sales. Is race a factor?

    No. It sure makes for a great excuse of Lebron though.

    Sorry. Im done.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Wrong article...

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Deng is solid...but he deff. needs to work on a lot of parts of his game. Dribbling, getting to the line, getting tough/having a mean streak, 3 pointers, creating off the dribble. He is bad at all those things. You put a good defender on Deng an he is no where to be seen. Now that he is the 3rd option, he should be seeing a lot more open shots and should expand his 3 point shot and slashing ability this year. But ya, i dont really understand all the love for Luol Deng on this site. The goal is to win a championship....Bulls clearly dont have the right combination yet. Im looking forward to the TRADE deadline!

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I would also like Melo over Deng. But Deng doesn't have to create of the dribble...he needs to improve on his 3 pt shooting from last year. What we need is an upgrade at the SG..

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hey Mr. Happy, statistics are hard to use in the NBA and pretty much many sports. Its very skewed because each player has its own role on their teams. Different players are asked to adapt to different roles. Paul Pierce and Melo are the go to guys in their offense. They get more touches per a game than Deng. USUALLY, when comparing all-star caliber players, when you shoot a high volume of shots compared to another person, its hard not to make more points. Deng has actually done a fairly good job of being a good offensive player. And as we know, Deng will be going back to moving without the ball.

    Doug, I like your work. First time commenting! Keep up the work.

  • Mitchell,

    FT's are more important than 3's.

    Being able to get to the FT-line is what separates the great players from the good players. Rose and Deng need to get their more often, if they want to be considered great at their positions.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Actually, Dung had a career high in FTA pg last season. That and rebounding were the only things that made him bearable last year.

  • Doug,

    Forget 3's.

    It's all about free-throws. Being able to get to the line and make FT's is what separates the great players in this league from the good players.

  • THAT, ladies and gentleman, is what's up!

  • FREE-THROWS (Make you great):

    LeBron James - 8/10 per game last season
    Carmelo Anthony - 7/9 per game last season
    Kevin Durant - 9/10 per game last season
    Paul Pierce - 5/6 per game last season
    Gerald Wallace - 5/7 per game last season
    Luol Deng - 3/4 per game last season

    The lack of free-throw makes and attempts is why Luol Deng is not a top 5 SF in the NBA.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    If FREE-THROWS make you great, then Dwight Howard must suck, because he is a lousy free throw shooter.

  • hey guys i propose something lets give deng a chance this year and if he does not produce will trade him sounds fare to me we can trade him middle season too. give the man a chance !

  • hopefully, thibs, having coached against the bulls, has plenty of ideas about what they need to improve on both ends of the floor to become an elite team instead of a seven or eight seed.

  • 06-07 LUOL DENG:

    In the playoffs during the 06-07 season here were Luol Deng's stats.

    22 ppg
    8 rpg
    2.4 apg
    5/6 ftm/fta per game

    That's the Luol Deng the Bulls need to see on a CONSISTENT basis.

    Those type of stats will put him amongst the best SF's in the game and make the Bulls elite.

  • Mitchell,

    It's not about FGA's, it's about FTA's.

    Dend needs to be more of an OFFENSIVE threat for the Bulls to be elite.

    If he can't, then Paxson needs to go get Melo.

  • I believe we will see our Bulls play MUCH MORE INTELLIGENT basketball this season on both ends of the floor. Both FT's and 3s get extra points - and both are very important in the modern game. Doug and Coach Thibs are very correct that 'long non-3s' are counter productive (2 pts and you never get fouled).

    In addition to 3s, we know that Thibs is focusing Deng on moving without the ball to open up his mid-range game and free him on cuts to the rim. Its when a player's got his defender beat that he gets fouled - and Thibs motion offense will create that with more cuts to the rim. From Day One Thibs stated Bulls will "play inside out." That's how Bulls will get to the FT line more. I'm confident Coach Thibs is very aware of the importance of FTs.

    In addition to FT attempts, I think several Bulls need to become better FT shooters. We need a few guys at 80%+, most notably Boozer, Deng and Rose - low-to-mid 70% doesn't cut it guys!

    Noah upped his FT% from 67% to 74% last season and he shot 95% (18-19) in the playoffs. So it can be done!

    Looking forward to this season!

  • 1. BTW, I was watching the Wizards camp on TV. I didn't see Klank Hinrich make one shot in atleast 6/7 attempts. I know it is early in camp but it brought back the memories of the last few years.
    2. I wouldn't say shooting long 2 pointers is bad for Deng in the sense it depends on his positioning. If he is inside the line and has to step back and make a 3-pointer, I am not sure he is good or comfortable with it. But it is the rhythm and positioning at the 3-point line which he needs to practice and go with the flow.

  • Basketball IQ is a good point. How can anyone define BB IQ? I think Deng has a very high BB IQ. The reason I say that he can play well without the ball. IMO, that is one of the most important and difficult things to do. Playing with the ball is relatively easy as you can feel when to shoot or pass. Also, running around screens or just to the 3-pt line to be open is also relatively easy. But, Deng slashes at the right time and does lot of other things like wait at the right place for a pass..

  • Melo's TS% the last 2 years: .532 and .548
    Deng's TS% the last 2 years: .511 and .531

    Despite the added FTA's, Melo isn't much more efficient as a scorer than Deng is.

    Deng is a better defender and a better rebounder.

    Deng has never appeared in a "Snitches Must Die" video- Melo has.

  • In reply to bullsville:

    see the comparison stops when you realize deng doesnt get double teamed and carries a franchise..i hate how people compare stats and never realize the actual situation..not just what you did but doug does it every time and never considers the actual game situation..

  • in my mind it is arguably the least important position in the game. Nobody starts building their team there.

    Except for Lebron, and he plays a hybrid position anyway.

  • I should have known that when I got home from work and saw 70+ comments already that Mappy had highjacked the conversation with another of his myopic innane rants.

  • and Noah switches and recovers better than either of those guys.

    Blocked shots get all the glory and sportcenter highlights, but team defensive play is way more appreciated by the people that matter, players and coaches.

  • +++++ team chemistry.

  • How on earth can we not be better offensively this season, we have Boozer a legitimate 20ppg power forward, Rose is clearly still getting better, as is Noah.

    And we have a real NBA coach, not Del Bimbo.

  • I was thinking more along the lines of Wilt or Kareem.

  • just found this over at ESPN, it is an analytical piece from the Wages of wins journal, one of the better of the stat geek sights.

    It predicts the Bulls would win 10 less games with Melo but without Deng and Noah, kind of the camp that I am in.

    Check out this link, another in a long line of analysis that indicate that Melo is not an alpha dog winner type of guy.

  • I don't know about "laughable", I'd probably go with "stupid".

    Because what I really should have said was that Melo is a better OFFENSIVE PLAYER than Deng, not a better SCORER. All those other items you mentioned related to offense, yeah Melo has the edge. No doubt about it.

    But Deng IS the better rebounder, even if it's just barely, he's still better. And that's with Deng playing alongside a better rebounding 4/5 tandem than Melo.

    And IMHO Deng's a better defender because he gives a more consistent effort on that end of the floor. Melo can D up when he wants to, I just don't see him wanting to all the time.

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