Luol Deng played 33 minutes in Tuesday night’s 85-79 loss to Toronto at the United Center, less than his usual allotment.
The All-Star small forward scored a team-high 16 points, albeit on 6-for-15 shooting with four turnovers, but his offensive presence was clearly missed. After the outing, his first after missing five consecutive games with a lingering left Achilles’ injury, Deng claimed he had no ill effects.
“I feel all right. Just got to get back in the gym, get my timing and my rhythm back a little bit. Just happy to be out there playing today,” Deng said.
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I’m on limited minutes, probably will be for a while until I get fully healthy again.”
When asked to elaborate about his minutes restriction, he responded, “I don’t know. I just know I didn’t play my minutes today.”
Regarding his performance, Deng wasn’t overly positive or negative, seeming to mostly expect the mixed results.
“I kind of got into the game slowly. In the fourth quarter, I tried to be more aggressive and kind of forced it a little bit,” he explained. “I knew coming back, I was going to feel it anyway, but nothing too crazy, nothing too bad. So I’m happy with how it felt.”