Pope’s Pick: February 24
February 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls
In a marquee matchup of Eastern Conference powers, the Chicago Bulls outlasted the Miami Heat at the United Center 93-89 Thursday night. While MVP candidate Derrick Rose was his typically stellar self for Chicago, it was SF Luol Deng that was the team’s MVP.
Deng was extremely active on defense and the glass all game long, and led the Bulls’ third quarter offensive surge that brought them back from a nine-point halftime deficit. He made no bigger play, though, than his corner 3-pointer with 16 seconds left that broke a tie and put the Bulls ahead for good.
For the game, Deng scored 20 points on an efficient 7-12 from the floor, pulled down 10 rebounds and doled out five assists. If these teams meet in the postseason, performances like this from Deng will go a long way in determining whether the upstart Bulls can beat the Heat.