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Is Luol Deng’s Wrist Bothering Him?

1 Mar 2012

Luol Deng Shot Attempts

(Click to enlarge)

I’m not ready to psychoanalyze Luol Deng and conclude his wrist injury is making him hesitant to drive to the basket. I’m just looking at the numbers, which show that his shots are coming more often from the perimeter.

Deng’s powerful start to the season saw him shooting roughly as often inside 9 feet as he did from 16 feet and beyond. But since his Jan. 21 injury — that’s the 18th game in the above chart — the red line has outpaced the black line. From Hoopdata:

Deng FGA 0-9 Feet 16+ Feet
Before (18 games) 6.7 7.2
After (12 games) 5.0 8.3

I don’t know if the wrist physically isn’t right or if he’s just worried about it, but Deng can’t float around the arc this often. Offensive assertiveness is what made him an all-star this season, and the Bulls almost certainly will need it to win a championship.

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