Luol Deng Credits Team Defense for Slowing LeBron James

by May 16, 2011

Luol Deng wasn’t willing to take any individual credit for LeBron’s subpar performance in Game 1 of the ECF. From the Chicago Tribune: “There’s no ‘me’ in Bulls. Not even an ‘I.’ So Deng deflected question after question about his superb defensive effort on James, who scored just 15 points in Game 1 on 5-for-15 shooting. ‘It wasn’t anything I did individually,’ Deng said. ‘Our team defense was great.’ [Tom] Thibodeau certainly seconded that sentiment, saying: ‘LeBron is such a tough cover; you don’t guard him individually, you guard him with your team. He’s so unselfish, he’ll pass the ball when he’s being double-teamed. He got some good looks that he normally makes. So we have to do a better job on him as well.’ These Bulls are never satisfied. Turner sports analyst Charles Barkley, meanwhile, called the Bulls ‘the best defensive team I’ve seen.’ And he was not merely referring to the 2010-11 season. Said James: ‘This series has the best two defensive teams in the league. (The Bulls) make you take tough shots, and I missed a number of shots I normally make.'”