- National Teams
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Great Britain and Chicago Bulls’ finest, Luol Deng will be appearing in his first ever NBA All-Star game this weekend. Well, in honour of this, we thought we’d take a look back through the Youtube archives and compile a list of the top 20 NBA plays of his career so far and boy…I think you’ll be surprised by a few of them. Not really known as a highlight reel player, Deng has taken some scalps in his 8 seasons! Don’t believe us? Check the top 20:
We start at the beginning, 2005, Deng’s rookie year where he was selected to play in the Rookie-Sophomore game and went back to back on these nice plays, hitting a baseline three before whipping in the dunk off a lob pass from Devin Harris, much to Allen Iverson’s delight.
Luol intercepts the pass and goes the full length of the court to catch Kirilenko, who tried to get the chasedown block, on the break lightweight.
Proving he still got it, just last week Luol went down the lane and banged it and-1 on New Jersey’s big man, Shelden Williams.
January 2010, Luol follows the shot to get the offensive rebound and putback as time expired to send the game to overtime, where the Bulls won their fifth straight.
The first of many appearances for LeBron James being on the receiving end of Luol’s skills. Deng gets the lay-up before stealing the lazy inbounds pass and throwing it down right in front of James, in the 2010 Chicago-Cleveland playoff series.
Opening day of this lockout-shortened season, Luol gets the better of Kobe, getting his fingertips to the ball to block the shot and save the game for Chicago.
LeBron misses the lob at one end, Luol picks up the loose ball and goes coast to coast for the dunk on 7 footer Jamal Magloire – who realises it would be silly to even try and jump.
Earlier this season, Chicago run the game-winning play to perfection as Joakim Noah hits Luol on the backdoor cut for the lay-up to take down the Hawks with a little over 3 seconds left.
One of the few (if not the only?) beyond half-court heave Luol has had in his NBA career and it’s a beauty. Deng launches in Game 2 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals Series against Miami (and LeBron again!).
Luol avoids the Cavs guard (who is that?!) on the fast break with a crossover that drops him, before finishing with the two handed jam that ends up catching a trailing LeBron.
Luol takes the pass from Derrick Rose and hits the clutch corner three to beat the Heat (and LeBron, again!). Love the way he holds the release and just stands there. Cold blooded!
Deng goes baseline for the nasty one handed reverse in the face of Milwaukee’s centre.
Now we’re digging deep! This clip (for some reason) isn’t available as a separate video on Youtube but skip to 49 seconds for the good stuff. Take it back to the 2007 playoffs, Game 1 against Detroit, Deng drives down the middle, elevates and posterises Jason Maxiell!
Yet another LeBron clip (and not the last either!). Luol goes behind the back to shake LeBron before finishing the tough layup amongst two defenders!
Proof that Luol has had ‘Bron’s number since his rookie season. Nasty crossover that breaks the King, before keeping his cool to hit the mid-range J, much to the delight of the announcers.
Another vintage clip from his Rookie season, Deng goes baseline to catch 7 footer Eric Dampier sleeping. Hat tip to Steve Vear for this one.
I don’t think that many can claim they have posterised 7’6″ Yao Ming, and of those that have, Luol’s bang on him may be the most underrated. Shame there isn’t replay angles. Nasty!
Of all the clips in the top 20, this is probably the most well known of them. Luol picks LeBron’s pocket and goes the length of the court to catch James as he tries for one of his trademark chasedowns. You’d think he would’ve learnt by now!
There is no better blocked shot than a clean two handed catch in mid air and this swat on White Chocolate is just FILTHY. Eeeeesh!
I think this one takes the number 1 spot easy. Luol cuts baseline catching the pinpoint pass to throw down a disgusting alley-oop, plus the harm, all over Mario West! And with the pass coming from Ben Gordon, is this a connection we’ll be seeing again this summer?!
There we have it, our comprehensive Top 20 plays of Luol Deng’s NBA career, but what do you think? Are we missing any? Would you switch up the order? Drop a comment and let us know!