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http://www.suntimes.com/output/bulls/cst-spt-bull15b.html

''Last year, being a rookie, the league just seemed like a roller coaster,'' he said. ''The consistency factor was tough. Every day, it was something new, you struggle with something new. This year, the first thing I'm trying to focus on is consistency, so the team knows what Luol brings every time.

''To be a great player, or a good player, in this league, that's the No. 1 thing -- consistency.''

Despite still regaining his rhythm following the wrist injury -- he wasn't allowed to play contact basketball until a few days before training camp in October -- Deng is off to a strong start this season. He was averaging 13.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 30 minutes before the Bulls opened a four-game West Coast swing Monday against the Golden State Warriors at The Arena in Oakland.
''Lu's situation sort of dictated itself because he wasn't quite ready yet. But as you can see, every game he's getting better and better. He may ultimately end up [back] in the lineup at some point.''

For now, Deng said he isn't focused on whether he's starting or coming off the bench.

''With this team, I don't think it matters,'' he said. ''I think that you could play 40 minutes one night and the next night play five. That's just the way it is here, so I don't think it matters here. If you don't play hard, you're not going to play. We're a good enough team where the next guy can come in and play.''
 

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If Deng keeps growing, maybe the Bulls could have him bulk up a bit, eg to about 240 lbs, and move him to PF. If he gets to 6-10, it could be an interesting option. He could be a match up nightmare.
 

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DaBullz said:
It's pretty amazing to me that the talk is whether he should be starting or coming off the bench when the talk should be about whether to feature him in the offense by running plays for him.
His shot looks a little less fluid this year to me, probably because he's still working off the rust from his wrist injury.

I agree long-term, but don't think 6 games is enough to say outright that Deng isn't a big part of the Bulls' plans offensively. Not only that, but he is very good at getting 10-15 points in a game just by being smart and hustling.

I hope, and expect, that Deng will be one of the teams top 2 options within a year and hopefully sooner. 3rd option at absolute worst. I think his deep shooting will come around with more time and he'll be ready to roll.
 

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Deng is the X factor with this team. He is the only player on the team capable of getting easy baskets regularly. He also has the ability to be a big rebounder at the 3 and the Bulls need that to offset their small backcourt. And, he's the only regular who matches up well with big, athletic guards.

I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that the Bulls fortunes are tied closely to Loul's progression.
 
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