For the first time in his 10-year career, Luol Deng will square off against the Chicago Bulls tonight on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 5:30 with Pregame Live, where Mark Schanowski and Will Perdue will preview the matchup ahead and what the Bulls may be up against from their old teammate. And make sure to stay with CSN Chicago after the game for Bulls Postgame Live. Schanowski and Perdue will have highlights, analysis and reaction from Tom Thibodeau and players.
When the shocking news broke around midnight on Jan. 7, that the Bulls had agreed to send Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Bynum's contract and three draft picks, one of the first things most fans did was check on the calendar when the first time was that the two-time All-Star would face his now-old team.
That time has come, as Deng and the Cavaliers host Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls tonight on Comcast SportsNet.
In six games with his new team, Deng has fared well. He's averaging 18.7 points on 49 percent shooting, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 31 minutes per game. He's even hit on 50 percent of his 3-point attempts (10-for-20), including a 5-for-5 performance in a two-point win over the Lakers last week.
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Deng's points per game are on par with his Bulls numbers (19.0 points per game), though his rebounds and assists are both down. That likely can be attributed to his minutes per game, which are down from 37.4 to 31.3 in Cleveland. Deng led the league in minutes per game the last two minutes, but it appears Mike Brown is taking a more cautious, laid-back approach with his newest addition. That, or he just needed time to acclimate to a new surrounding and playbook -- he has averaged 22.5 points in nearly 36 minutes per game in his last four contests.
And the Cavaliers are faring well with Deng. Not counting their win over the Hawks when Deng had been traded but wasn't suited up, the Cavaliers are 3-3 since his arrival. They've alternated wins and losses and are coming off a five-point home loss to the Mavericks on Sunday. Cavaliers fans will get their second look at Deng at home, as the Cavaliers were in the middle of five-game road trip when they made the trade.
In Deng's last game against the Cavaliers in Cleveland, he scored 27 points and handed out a season-high 11 assists for the Bulls in a four-point loss. Now he's on the other side, and it's up to the Bulls to game plan around the player they watched grow and win games since 2003.
It's all happening tonight on Comcast SportsNet, so stay tuned with us throughout the evening for all the action. And make sure to stay interactive during and after the game on Bulls Pulse, using #BullsTalk to join the conversation on Twitter.