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News » Deng back in starting lineup


Deng back in starting lineup


Deng back in starting lineup
In an attempt to jump-start his offense, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro will return Luol Deng to the starting lineup Sunday against the 76ers.

Deng, a career 47.6 percent shooter, is shooting 39.5 percent this season and played tentatively coming off the bench the last two games after missing the previous three with a sore left hamstring.

"I have to find a rhythm," Deng said.

Deng averaged six points and 21 minutes on 41.6 percent shooting in his reserve roles against Utah and San Antonio. Del Negro knows the Bulls won't win consistently with Deng averaging only 13.1 points.

"We have to get him going earlier," Del Negro said. "He has to do a better job getting ready and being more aggressive. He has to be more consistent. I haven't done a good job of helping him get involved early. I'm going to [emphasize] that. Luol is a big part of what we're going to do and we need him to be productive."

In a rare disclosure, Del Negro said Deng would start alongside Derrick Rose, Ben Gordon, Joakim Noah and Drew Gooden. That means Larry Hughes returns to reserve status.

Rookie redux: Name the speaker: "Even though the spotlight is on me as the No. 1 pick, I'm definitely trying to blend into a team concept."

Rose, circa 2008? Nope, Elton Brand from 1999.

Brand, now with the 76ers, is the only other No. 1 overall pick in Bulls history. Rose, who owns a similarly humble approach, is trying to follow in Brand's footsteps by winning rookie of the year and said Saturday he enjoys playing in front of hostile crowds.

"It's been kind of crazy," Rose said. "The crowds are booing me a little louder. The media is giving me a little more attention. But it comes with the territory of wanting to be a star."

kcjohnson@tribune.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 30, 2008

 

 
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