Sunday, August 12, 2007

You Know What I'm Really Looking Foward To Next Season?


First I heard David Thorpe tell Henry Abbott that he was watching him practice with Britain's team this year and was REALLY impressed with what he saw, and then I read this piece in SI, where Deng says:

"For GB this summer I'm playing the 1, 2 and 3, so I'm really loving the fact that I'm handling the ball so much,'' he says. "Drawing fouls is going to be a big factor, and so is improving my three-point range and playing in the post. I'm great at moving without the ball, but I'm talking about the last five seconds when you get the ball in your hands or you get the ball in an iso -- those kinds of things I have to improve on, because that's what great players do.''

Hell, I know this could just be talk, but given the strides he's made over the past two years, it's conceivable his ball-handling could really improve, which, if added to an improved extended long range game, would just make him deadly. I mean, he showed in the Heat series that he could be dominating, even with some considerable holes in his game. If he can close those gaps even somewhat, look out.

Anyway, I'm excited about him, and I think his being immensely underrated is why so many folks are sleeping on the Bulls this year. I just don't think people realize that, despite how good he is now, there's still a lot of room for improvement in his game. (And I think one thing we've learned (at least thus far) with Deng is that he does improve, significantly, during every offseason.) With the possible exception of LeBron (who could possibly crystallize his greatness into diamond-like perfection), I don't think you can say that about any other significant player on any other Eastern Conference contender. The upper limits of their players' talents have been reached, and Deng, I think, hasn't even come close to his yet. It's all very saliva-inducing.


Anonymous Mike said...

Completely agree. That's why Paxson was right to not pull the trigger on a Gasol deal. As good as Deng is right now, its his upside that is so scary.

As far as the Bulls prospects for next year, I am really optimistic assuming we tweak our offense to compensate for the lack of a big man. Ideally I think we should use a hybrid version of the Suns offense: Push the ball on every opportunity (and our D will surely create plenty) and pull up into one of Skiles beautiful set pieces if nothing is there on the break.

I know this is fairly close to our current offense, but it needs become a more emphasized philosophy

2:54 PM  
Blogger david said...

hell yes

8:12 PM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

Mike--Agreed. I've made the argument before that the Bulls would be well served by adapting a Suns East-type style, particularly down the road when (hopefully) Ty Thomas and Noah are good enough to move into the starting lineup.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article! Deng is not far from LBJ's level. He is a much better jump shooter and better defender than LBJ.

9:25 PM  
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3:47 AM  

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