Tonight the NBA is announcing the All-Star reserves and I think most Chicago fans have one man in mind for a spot, Mr. Luol Deng.
Deng is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds a game and is probably the Bulls’ best defender. I think he definitely deserves a spot. He’s going up against Celtics vets Ranjon Rondo (who I just can’t stand after he threw a punch at Rose a few years back in the playoffs) and Paul Pierce. Even though Deng missed 7 games due to a torn ligament in his left wrist, after returning the Bulls are 3-0 and have won by 23, 21 and 23 – he’s the man and I’m not the only one who thinks so, he has the support of his teammates and coaches too.
“I hope they’re good,” Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN of Deng’s chances. “You guys who follow our team, I think you understand how important he is to our team. Lu doesn’t have to score to have a great impact on our team and winning. He plays great defense. He plays a great floor game. He moves without the ball. He makes the extra pass. And he has very good statistics, but you can’t measure his impact statistically. I know what he brings. I know all the coaches and all his teammates appreciate everything that he does.”
Looks like Ronnie Brewer did his homework this off season. Six (seven depending what time you read this) games into his second year with the Chicago Bulls, it is apparent Brewer has developed a little more than just a consistent jump shot during the NBA lock-out. The man has some serious confidence so far this season.
The Bulls bench or “bench mob” is solid, with back ups like Taj Gibson and C.J. Watson (pre-elbow injury), but Brewer has stood out from the rest of the second unit. Unlike last year, Brewer is healthy and in shape – able to maximize on his shooting game. In Sunday night’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Brewer had 17 points while starting in place of an injured Richard Hamilton. Never considered a strong offensive player, mostly due to his strange shooting form, Brewer has always been a long-armed solid rock to the Bulls’ defense with excellent court vision, able to create turnovers and guard any opponents.
After the Bulls acquired Hamilton as a starting two guard, one can only imagine it was a bit of a shot to Ronnie’s ego, as he wasn’t going to be the Bulls starter. However, I think he used this situation as motivation. Yes it’s early in the season, and he hasn’t done anything miraculous, but I think we can expect much more out of Brewer offensively this season. He is taking the lead as the boss of the “bench mob” and in a season with a crazy number of back-to-back games, his strength/consistency will be key to the team’s success. And now with early season injuries to Hamilton and Watson, I expect his minutes to increase resulting in more shot attempts and ultimately making more baskets, which will only boost his confidence more.
Brewer told ESPN, “Playing with D-Rose and the level of defense [coach Tom Thibodeau] preaches, it kind of takes a little getting used to. This year was a little different. I came in in a lot better shape. Healthy, working on my shot and just been playing with a lot of confidence so far.” Get after it Ronnie B, Chicago is loving the new you.