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View Full Version : Has Luol Deng peaked?



JerseyPalahniuk
12-18-2012, 11:45 AM
He is 27 years old in his 8th season, usually the "prime" years of an NBA player. However, his minutes the last 3 seasons are off the charts - over 39 min in all 3 and leading the league 2 years in a row. As a big fan of two-way SF (Wallace, AK, Batum), I've been a fan of this guy since the '07 playoffs.

Take a look at his stats since that great 06-07 season: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/denglu01.html

His numbers though have leveled off and seem to be consistent year to year even with his HUGE minutes. Everyone and their mother knows that Thib is overplaying his starters but Deng seems to be victim #1 with Rose's injury.

My question is: will he improve significantly at any point in his career? Will he make an All-Star team again and how many times?

Im_in_Mia_bish
12-18-2012, 11:48 AM
even during his "prime" he was never the type of player who could create his own shot. he's a phenomenal second option player, with good length and is a solid defender.

so with rose out he immediately becomes the main threat on offense from the perimeter for the bulls.. so not surprised at what we are seeing.

Im_in_Mia_bish
12-18-2012, 11:50 AM
imo when rose comes back, he will go back to shooting 46% while averaging 17 points.
his norm.

he doesnt have the type of talent to carry a team by himself or give you effecient scoring as the number one option while scoring in the high 20s.

after 06, bulls thought that with his contract offer lol

SteBO
12-18-2012, 11:52 AM
Deng is at his best on the move imo....but he's shown flashes of being to create his own shot off the dribble if he has the right guy on him. Overall though, that's not his game. I don't know if he truly has peaked(I'd like to know a Bulls fans' thoughts on this), but the amount of minutes he's played for the past two and a half years is alarming.

Im_in_Mia_bish
12-18-2012, 11:52 AM
and as long as lebron, melo, granger, pierce play in the east, he def will not make the all star team again imo

kobe4thewinbang
12-18-2012, 11:55 AM
I think he's peaked, or in better words disappointed. I think lots of people thought he could be a superstar, but it's obvious he's fit as a #2 option.

JerseyPalahniuk
12-18-2012, 12:06 PM
and as long as lebron, melo, granger, pierce play in the east, he def will not make the all star team again imo

Pierce will retire in a few years. Deng is 27. In my opinion Deng > Granger. Obviously agree with Melo/Lebron stopping him but it's a tad bit easier now that the "C" has been eliminated. I really think he has a chance to get 2 more nominations from the coaches (probably won't ever start) before it's all said an done. And that's being optimistic as a fan.

Chicago fans, what do you think?

JasonJohnHorn
12-18-2012, 12:08 PM
I'm pretty sure he is at his peak. He's a great player and very underrated, like Iggy.

JerseyPalahniuk
12-18-2012, 12:10 PM
I think he's peaked, or in better words disappointed. I think lots of people thought he could be a superstar, but it's obvious he's fit as a #2 option.

I didn't mean to be condescending when I used the term "peaked." He's still a very underrated player. I'm just wondering what more he will add to his game.

ILMindState
12-18-2012, 12:19 PM
While I agree he does play a lot of minutes. But its a bit overblown. The past 4 years he has averaged 39.35 MPG. This year particularly there is an increase in minutes with Rose's injury.

Compare that to a player of the same position in his peak years Scottie Pippen. He averaged 37.95 MPG from 1992 - 1996

I do agree tho and think that Deng has peaked. He's consistent and what you see is what you get. A great slasher but creating his shot is not his game. I don't think hes as overpaid as people think either. He's not really paid as a #1 scorer.

Chronz
12-18-2012, 12:19 PM
Why are you guys mentioning him creating his own shot? I dont see what that has to do with the topic at hand.

Chronz
12-18-2012, 12:23 PM
I think he's peaked, or in better words disappointed. I think lots of people thought he could be a superstar, but it's obvious he's fit as a #2 option.

When do you think he peaked?

ILMindState
12-18-2012, 12:24 PM
Why are you guys mentioning him creating his own shot? I dont see what that has to do with the topic at hand.

If you aren't peaking you are adding another element to your game.

JerseyPalahniuk
12-18-2012, 12:28 PM
While I agree he does play a lot of minutes. But its a bit overblown. The past 4 years he has averaged 39.35 MPG. This year particularly there is an increase in minutes with Rose's injury.

Compare that to a player of the same position in his peak years Scottie Pippen. He averaged 37.95 MPG from 1992 - 1996

I do agree tho and think that Deng has peaked. He's consistent and what you see is what you get. A great slasher but creating his shot is not his game. I don't think hes as overpaid as people think either. He's not really paid as a #1 scorer.

Wow, he averaged over 38 MPG 4 seasons in a row ('89-'96) with 4 other seasons above 37 MPG. Still though, 41 MPG is not healthy. Hopefully his minutes will go down a bit with Rose, but I doubt it with Thib.


Why are you guys mentioning him creating his own shot? I dont see what that has to do with the topic at hand.

Hahaha yes. The thread wasn't meant to discuss his playing style. Maybe if it affected his durability but the fact that he "doesn't create his own shot" does not.

Chronz
12-18-2012, 12:28 PM
I didn't mean to be condescending when I used the term "peaked." He's still a very underrated player. I'm just wondering what more he will add to his game.

Condescending? By using literal terms? WTF? Unless your talking to an emotional pansy, no one should take it in a condescending way.

What you said was perfectly acceptable, the point people are missing is that your post raises the question, can he regain his prior level of production? Its not just that hes peaked, its that hes regressing.

People are talking about his lack of shot creation but that didn't stop him from producing in his youth. Injuries derailed his early run that had people thinking Star, you combine those injuries with the minutes hes logged, I can see why he might be one of those players that played his best ball early in his career.

JerseyPalahniuk
12-18-2012, 12:31 PM
Condescending? By using literal terms? WTF? Unless your talking to an emotional pansy, no one should take it in a condescending way.

What you said was perfectly acceptable, the point people are missing is that your post raises the question, can he regain his prior level of production? Its not just that hes peaked, its that hes regressing.

People are talking about his lack of shot creation but that didn't stop him from producing in his youth. Injuries derailed his early run that had people thinking Star, you combine those injuries with the minutes hes logged, I can see why he might be one of those players that played his best ball early in his career.

Hahaha I think you misinterpreted my comment. I just meant to say that Luol Deng "peaking" isn't a disappointment. He is still playing at a very high level. Something the previous pointer seemed to imply.

And YES, it seems as though he IS regressing. And while others may not believe so, I think his minutes are one of the factors leading to that.

Chronz
12-18-2012, 12:32 PM
If you aren't peaking you are adding another element to your game.
Wat?
Either Im really blown or you got way too deep for me

Hes added to his game (see enhanced range) but hes declined in health/athletically his game has dropped, so hes not just peaking, he peaked a while ago, he is currently amidst a heavy decline. At least thats how I see his career.

Chronz
12-18-2012, 12:35 PM
Hahaha I think you misinterpreted my comment. I just meant to say that Luol Deng "peaking" isn't a disappointment. He is still playing at a very high level. Something the previous pointer seemed to imply.

And YES, it seems as though he IS regressing. And while others may not believe so, I think his minutes are one of the factors leading to that.

Ahh. I get it now.

Agreed on your 2nd point as well, hes a workhorse and there is real value in that. I just think it would be best for the long haul to let the man rest and see if he can regain some of that previous luster.

KNICKSTAPE 914
12-18-2012, 12:38 PM
he never deserved to be an all star to begin with...i think he has definitely peaked out...he is a solid player but my opinion of him isnt as high as a lot of you

Mitch Kramer
12-18-2012, 12:48 PM
Condescending? By using literal terms? WTF? Unless your talking to an emotional pansy, no one should take it in a condescending way.

What you said was perfectly acceptable, the point people are missing is that your post raises the question, can he regain his prior level of production? Its not just that hes peaked, its that hes regressing.

People are talking about his lack of shot creation but that didn't stop him from producing in his youth. Injuries derailed his early run that had people thinking Star, you combine those injuries with the minutes hes logged, I can see why he might be one of those players that played his best ball early in his career.

In bold, that represents about 85% of PSD posters ive encountered. If this thread was posted in the Bulls forum, it would be deleted, and you'd be branded a troll.

To the original question, yes, he's "peaked." At this point, Luol Deng is what he is, which is a defensive minded SF who can hit an open shot. On the move he can run around screens well, find open spaces on offense to get his shot. The main problem with Deng, is that he cannot create off the dribble, which is something a "2nd option" on offense needs to be able to do from time to time. When teams turn up the defensive intensity in the 4th quarter, the Bulls struggle to score. When Rose was healthy, he could offset this intensity with his driving abilities, but against elite teams it still wasnt enough. The Bulls need that 2nd scorer, and Deng just doesnt fit the bill.

Chronz
12-18-2012, 01:01 PM
In bold, that represents about 85% of PSD posters ive encountered. If this thread was posted in the Bulls forum, it would be deleted, and you'd be branded a troll.
Sounds like you got something to prove. And I think Ive already been branded a troll over there.



To the original question, yes, he's "peaked." At this point, Luol Deng is what he is, which is a defensive minded SF who can hit an open shot. On the move he can run around screens well, find open spaces on offense to get his shot. The main problem with Deng, is that he cannot create off the dribble, which is something a "2nd option" on offense needs to be able to do from time to time. When teams turn up the defensive intensity in the 4th quarter, the Bulls struggle to score. When Rose was healthy, he could offset this intensity with his driving abilities, but against elite teams it still wasnt enough. The Bulls need that 2nd scorer, and Deng just doesnt fit the bill.
If he could just get back to where he was that would be a great start.

Im_in_Mia_bish
12-18-2012, 01:07 PM
Why are you guys mentioning him creating his own shot? I dont see what that has to do with the topic at hand.

well i was trying to explain his production for the past two years by using the "he can't create his own shot" excuse.

I think he hasn't peaked yet and he isnt declining imo.

he has always been a steady 46-48% shooter while averaging 17-18 points as a compliment player.

he does have the tools necessary, but with injuries and his inability (especially lately) to create his own shot, I feel he won't peak as much as we'd all like him too.

He is still a very very underrated player. no doubt about that, but i don't see him declining, his stats and effeciency will obviously take a hit if he's shoved into the light as someone who has to create his own shot.

Chronz
12-18-2012, 01:20 PM
well i was trying to explain his production for the past two years by using the "he can't create his own shot" excuse.

I think he hasn't peaked yet and he isnt declining imo.
I think its fair to say his offense has been in a steady decline. Im not seeing how thats an excuse unless your saying hes gotten worse at creating his own shot over the years.


he has always been a steady 46-48% shooter while averaging 17-18 points as a compliment player.
Except for last year and this year. If you look at his stats, 2 years standout significantly. His 3rd year when the Bulls beat the Heat and he had showed so much progress that Kobe refused to be traded to them unless Deng was still on that team. And the first year Thibs got there. The following year he dealt with alot of injuries and his efficiency dropped but it has continued to plummet, I think he needs rest more than anything but the guy never takes time off and never gets corrective surgery from what I understand. Combine that with the minutes he logs and the practices they run, its understandable why some would assume hes declining.

MassoDio
12-18-2012, 02:07 PM
Yes, Luol Deng has reached his peak. He is not going to get any better than he is right now.

I don't think he is necessarily in decline, as much as having to play a role that he cannot play effectively. Deng really should be a third option on offense, and defensively focused. The Bulls just don't have the luxury of using him that way. He was never a first option talent, and he is only a second option talent if you just want to make the playoffs.

The Bulls need Rose to be healthy, and a good second option, and then Deng will be at his most effective.

What people are seeing now is not a decline, but rather a being completely worn out, in need of wrist surgery, and being forced to be the main guy because their star is out. He is logging too many minutes. It has taken its toll the last two years.

If Deng is used correctly, he would be more efficient and give the Bulls a third option that teams have to honor. But unfortunately, that isn't possible right now, and it may cost the Bulls Deng's services for a significant amount of time down the road.

quade36
12-18-2012, 04:11 PM
he never deserved to be an all star to begin with...i think he has definitely peaked out...he is a solid player but my opinion of him isnt as high as a lot of you

Good that you gave your opinion. Only problem is if you don't think he is that great how could he ever have peaked?

More logical way to write what you meant was you don't think he peaked per say because he never was good to begin with.

At least that makes more sense.

FOXHOUND
12-18-2012, 04:26 PM
Yes, Luol Deng has reached his peak. He is not going to get any better than he is right now.

I don't think he is necessarily in decline, as much as having to play a role that he cannot play effectively. Deng really should be a third option on offense, and defensively focused. The Bulls just don't have the luxury of using him that way. He was never a first option talent, and he is only a second option talent if you just want to make the playoffs.

The Bulls need Rose to be healthy, and a good second option, and then Deng will be at his most effective.

What people are seeing now is not a decline, but rather a being completely worn out, in need of wrist surgery, and being forced to be the main guy because their star is out. He is logging too many minutes. It has taken its toll the last two years.

If Deng is used correctly, he would be more efficient and give the Bulls a third option that teams have to honor. But unfortunately, that isn't possible right now, and it may cost the Bulls Deng's services for a significant amount of time down the road.

I think you hit the nail on the head with this. The Bulls signed Boozer to be that 2nd option, but that signing has been a disaster. Boozer needs to be in a pick n roll to be effective, since his physical limitations get badly exposed if he has to do too much work on his own. If they were able to get Bosh somehow instead that would have been an amazing fit.

If Rose can take his pick n roll game to the next level they may be able to make it work offensively with this current group. I'm liking what Belinelli has been able to do lately, so if they can sort out the scoring of Rose and Boozer that would be key. Deng is going to be Deng, like you said. They need to find a way for Rose to be less ISO reliant, so his efficiency can go up. Creating a good PnR game with Boozer may allow that.

3RDASYSTEM
12-18-2012, 04:56 PM
This is why i say a 'prime' term is nonexistent and especially for 'superstar game' players

they do it from jump offtop

DENG did his thing offtop,but it was always at borderline allstar level,not no franchise changing 100mil type guy, so DENG is who he is in my book, a superstrong #3 on champcaliber squad who could get away with being a #2 on contender



by the time a 'superstar game' player is in his 8th yr,he is still feared and has top game left in tank..plenty

DENG signed a 66-70mil deal and back then they thought he was overpaid, so in short hes a better version of IGGY,minus the freak athletic ability

BULLSFAN0810
12-18-2012, 05:02 PM
Deng was a finished product out of Duke. his skill didnt progress.

He cant dribble better, pass , and is barely an improved shooter
Deng is a player that flurishes on a stack team where he is the 3rd 4th option..Deng is someone you put on the Spurs sit him in the corner, let him hit open 3s kicked out of doubles. he will then become much better because he doews have a nose for the ball . he can then do what he does great...like i said before: Hit open corner 3s,play decent defense, and use intangibles...but you NEED A STACKED TEAM:eyebrow:

eddyv7
12-18-2012, 05:05 PM
obviously he has peaked. hes in his 8th year he isn't going to get better than he already is which is a second option. now the question is can he remain consistent the rest of his career and maintain his production