Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

LUOL DENG: 9TH MAN?

19

Call me crazy. But who would you rather have play more minutes right now: Luol Deng or Tim Thomas? Or an even better question: Salmons or Deng?

In my opinion, there isn’t anything that Deng can do that they can’t. But when you flip it, there are some things they can do that Deng can’t. Deng is fairly one-dimensional, while both Thomas and Salmons are versatile scorers.

As for defense, I think Deng is a poor one-on-one defender. Most 3s can take him off the dribble. I’ve read conflicting reports on Salmons and haven’t seen him enough to comment one way or the other. He certainly is more athletic than Deng. Thomas on defense? His best attribute may be that he’s 6’10″.

This is not to say Deng shouldn’t play. I’m just saying when you really look at it, he possibly should be the 8th or 9th man in the rotation behind Miller, Salmons and possibly Hinrich.

  • http://notqualifiedtocomment.com/ Stormin Norman

    I can see your point but we have to give Salmons and Miller some time to see how well they really gel with different units. Also Deng can play the 4 in limited situations when Vinny goes small (I can’t believe I just said that, I hate when Vinny goes small).

  • http://www.tddance.blogspot.com McSpazz

    Deng can sit off the bench for all I care. For a guy to be making that much money, who can’t dribble, defend or shoot the 3 is beyond me. Three critical areas the 3 should be able to do. He’s the perfect 9th guy, he can hit an open mid-range jumper and cut to the whole and grap a few boards. Way to go Pax, thank goodness BG did turn down that contract, otherwise we would have another one dimensional player for years to come.

    As far as Deng playing the 4 when VDN goes small, I’d rather see Hinrich playing the 4. Deng can’t even guard a 3 let alone a 4.

    Now that we two double TT’s. The rotation should work like this;
    Starting 5

    Salmons-SF
    Tyrus-PF
    Miller-C
    BG-SG
    Rose-PG

    Keep in mind D Rose should very rarely come out of the game. I don’t care what kind of foul, shooting or turnover trouble he may be having. The only way to learn the league is to be out there constantly. The sitting in 4th quarter crap has to stop.

    Bench

    6th-Hinrich-PG/SG
    7th-Tim Thomas-SF/PF
    8th-SPAZZY “HAIR” PANTS-C/PF
    9TH-Deng-SF/PF/SG

    With most of these bench guys being able to play multiple spots, it leaves VDN in a very nice position. Now if he can figure out how to put it together is a different question. If I was going to hire an inexperienced coach I would have went with Tyrone Corbin. That’s just my opinion.

  • http://www.emptythebench.com Mr. Thell

    As a fantasy owner of Deng I took note when he bust out with a very strong January, but he seems to have been unable to sustain that success yet again.

    Some of it is nagging injuries – and as Bud Grant used to say, the most important “ability” in sports is dur-ability.

    I also think it has a lot to do with Deng refusing to develop an offensive repertoire, especially in the paint. The rest of the league just knows now that they can push him around and suffocate him and there’s not a whole lot he’ll do about it.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    great comments guys.

    Deng at the least needs to develop a post game to remain relevant. He doesn’t shoot threes and he can’t take it off the dribble.

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  • bino

    Are you guys serious? Tim bleepin Thomas over Luol Deng?? First of all, the ONLY thing Tim Thomas does is stand behind the 3 point line and jack up threes. How can you say he’s versatile when 42% of his points come from the 3 point line. Even Ben Gordon isn’t over 33%. And PLEASE don’t give this guy credit for playing any defense. Luol moves without the ball, cuts to the lane, tries to get himself open mid-range jump shots. On top of that, Luol is a MUCH better rebounder than Tim Thomas. In fact Luol Deng is tied for 8th in double doubles for small fowards despite playing less games that all but 2 of them.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=nbadd&league=nba&split=0&sort=dd&avg=pg&qual=true&season=2009&seasontype=2&pos=sf

    You ARE crazy. Luol might not be worth his contract, but to say he’s a worse overall player than Tim Thomas is a joke.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Well it’s a joke you made up yourself. Because here is what I said: “But who would you rather have play more minutes right now: Luol Deng or Tim Thomas? Or an even better question: Salmons or Deng?”. I also never gave him any credit for defense. I said his best attribute may be that he is 6’10″–a dig at his D.

    Who cares if he is tied for 8th in dbl-dbls? He has all of 7 on the year anyway. Instead look at player efficiency. In that stat Deng ranks 92nd in the league. He ranks 42nd out of all forwards. And 22nd for forwards in the East.

    That stat isn’t the be all end all, but it’s a much better metric than dbl-dbls.

  • http://notqualifiedtocomment.com/ Stormin Norman

    Also I don’t think anyone is arguing Tim Thomas is BETTER than Deng overall (maybe I’m misinterpreting), but the point is if you have Salmons, what do you want out of your 8th man? At that spot a role player like Thomas is far more valuable. It’s just something to think about…

  • bino

    Salmons vs Deng is another subject. You brought first question asked us who deserved more playing time Luol Deng vs Tim Thomas. I showed you that Tim Thomas is not a versatile scorer. We agree he is not a good defender. I think double doubles at the SF are somewhat meaningful when you are claiming that Deng is one dimensional.

    And if you are using Luol’s PER as a way to show his ineffectiveness, it’s only fair that you compare Tim Thomas’s, since you are debating about who you would rather have play more minutes. Luol’s PER is 15.15, Tim’s PER is 12.63. Tim’s career high in PER is 15.09, which is higher than only one of Luol’s five seasons (his rookie year). Look, Luol is struggling there is no doubt about it. I think him vs Salmons is a very good debater for who should start. But Tim Thomas never was and never will be a good player. He should not ever play more minutes in a game than Luol because he is quite simply a worse NBA basketball player.

  • http://notqualifiedtocomment.com/ Stormin Norman

    @Bino: What you don’t seem to be understanding is that NO ONE IS SAYING TIM THOMAS IS BETTER THAN DENG!! Not anywhere. No one. What is being said seems to me to be that with your 8th man you want a role player. Someone who does one or two things very well and can get 8-15 minutes a game to bring his few talents to the table. DENG IS BETTER THAN THOMAS! I think we all agree on that. if they were competing for a starting job it would be no contest, Deng would win. But if we assume Salmons is the starter (not that he should be, but if we assume), then we are talking about who should be the 8th or 9th man. That is a different discussion and in that role Thomas may be a better option.

  • bino

    Stormin- read the dude’s question. “But who would you rather have play more minutes right now: Luol Deng or Tim Thomas?” And then the Zoner says …”In my opinion, there isn’t anything that Deng can do that they can’t.”

    THAT what my responses have been to. If you’re asking who’s a better role player, it depends on what ur looking for. Thomas is 3 point specialist and a mediocre one at best. (he’s only a career 37% 3 point shooter- most 3 pt specialists are well above 40% ala kapono, daquaen cook, steve kerr, etc..) If you’re looking for ANYTHING else, Deng is a much better role player. End of story.

  • dhaab

    Good golly. 13 posts about an average NBA player on an average NBA team.
    In the words of Amy Poehler… really…really??

  • bino

    says the guy quoting Amy Poehler.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    yeah bino! give it to dhaab!!!

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  • http://www.docksquadsports.com docksquad

    good post. deng makes me sad. dude wont ever be a star. he cant create his own j. u ever seen how he dribbles? the post isnt working either and his d has fallen off.

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