PHILADELPHIA Not that he isnt appreciated in Chicago, but if Luol Deng ever needs a pick-me-up, maybe he should just catch a quick flight to Philadelphia. Doug Collins, the 76ers head coach and father of Chris Collins, an assistant coach at Duke, where Deng played in college threw heaps of praise upon the first-time All-Star following his teams Sunday-morning shootaround at the Wells Fargo Center.
We did not see Rip or Luol the last time. Lus having a terrific year. Hes really shooting the ball well, his three-point shooting is up, which really makes it difficult to guard Lu because hes such a slasher and a cutter, said Collins. What Rip has done and a little what Luol has done they were great mid-range shooters and they added some length to their shot to, I think, keep you a little bit more honest.
With Lu, he was such a slasher and a cutter, I think the one year Ive got to go back and look at my notes but when I was broadcasting, the one year he took quite a few threes and then, he came back the next year and really cut down on those threes. His shooting percentage went way up and then, little by little, he started adding the three more into it and when you play with a guy like Derrick Rose, he elevates your offensive rebounding because hes on top of the rim all of the time and your bigs are helping, so thats why Joakim and Booz and Gibson and Asik are on top of the basket rebounding. Then hes going to get you open shots because he penetrates, draws people and hes going to kick that ball, and hes very, very unselfish, continued the detail-oriented coach, not unlike, if more outgoing, than the Bulls Tom Thibodeau. You want to be able to surround him with shooters and thats why when I think Lu was 4-for-4 the other night against Cleveland; it looked they were all from the same spot when I was watching the tape you add that to your game, now you close out, now you can drive and you just expand your game. So, Rip has done that and both Lu.
Dengs former Bulls teammate and current Sixer Andres Nocioni also spoke highly of his fellow small forwards development, as well as the teams continual improvement.
Theyre doing great and theyre doing a lot. I think theyve got more experience, theyre playing really well every night and you know they have Derrick Rose, the MVP, and you know Luol is stepping up his game. Hes playing hard, too, so its really fun to watch their games and I think theyre doing a great job, said Nocioni, who was traded from Chicago to Philadelphia during Roses rookie season. Deng is playing really well right now. I think he deserved to be an All-Star. Hes the kind of guy who works hard every night and hes proud to be a Chicago Bulls player, and I think hes doing a great job.