Heat Must Stop Deng to Win Game Two Print
Written by TheSpread   
Tuesday, 24 April 2007 07:25
NBA Headline News

Luol Deng Stepping Up

Luol Deng expects the adjustments to be as subtle as some of the hard fouls the teams have exchanged in recent seasons.

He knows the Miami Heat have to do something.

The defending champions had two days to digest what happened in Game 1 Saturday, when Deng scored 33 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 96-91 victory.

Oddsmakers have made Chicago -3.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 181.5 total points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 73% of bets for this game have been placed on Miami +3.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Two days to figure out how someone who struggled against them in the regular season went off like that. And two days to correct it before the series resumes Tuesday in Chicago.

``I know they're going to come with a different look,'' Deng said.

He knows the Heat are physical, will try to wear down the Bulls, but it's tough to do when a team can't catch its opponent. And the Heat couldn't stop Chicago in the opener.

``Everybody could have done a better job,'' coach Pat Riley said. ``All of us.''

The Bulls took three of four in the regular season and the loss came when Miami dictated the tempo, so it was no secret they wanted to pick up the pace. And Chicago did just that.

The Bulls outscored the Heat 25-4 on the break, but what they did in the halfcourt was just as important.

They penetrated. They moved the ball. Deng got open shots, and that's why the Bulls were quick to downplay his five-inch size advantage over Dwyane Wade, the man guarding him.

``Having a small guy on me, it's not as if I kept posting up,'' Deng said.

That's why he thinks it won't matter if the Heat put the bigger Eddie Jones or James Posey on him. Deng's points come from his ability to move without the ball, to break away from his defender and cut to the rim or pull up for a mid-range jumper.

Still, Posey indicated he wants a chance, and the two have a history.

Posey got ejected for a hard foul on Deng when Miami lost by six at Chicago on Dec. 27. Deng was 2-for-10 with eight points in that game, and he didn't fare much better in the other three. A guy who scored in double digits 78 times during a breakout season had another eight-point effort against the Heat and scored 12 against them twice.

Deng looked like a different player Saturday.

He made a total of 12 and never attempted more than 14 in a game against the Heat during the regular season, yet he hit a layup in the opening seconds and finished 14-for-22.

``I didn't play well against them in the regular season, and my thoughts were I just have to be aggressive at the start of the game,'' Deng said.

The Heat had no counter.

Shaquille O'Neal dominated early before fouling out, and Wade delivered late. Otherwise, it was a rough afternoon for both superstars.

Knee and shoulder problems limited Wade on both ends of the court. Although he carried the Heat late in the game, scoring nine of his 21 points in the fourth, Wade was 3-for-10 through three quarters and could not shake Chicago's Thabo Sefolosha.

``I'm not the D-Wade I used to be right now,'' Wade said. ``My quickness is not there. So I'm trying to be smarter and use my mind more than my body.''

Things went awry for O'Neal after scoring 10 of his 19 points in the first quarter. The fouls started to mount, he accused the Bulls of flopping and said referee Eddie F. Rush ``derailed'' him.

The odds Wade and O'Neal get into foul trouble again are slim, and coach Scott Skiles realizes the Bulls have to do a better job against the big man early. Ben Wallace did his best to contain O'Neal, but others were slow to rotate.

``Any great player, you never want them feeling good about themselves early in a game,'' Skiles said. ``A guy settles into a rhythm and then you have your hands full.''

On the other end, Deng quickly settled into one.

After averaging 18.8 points and shooting 51.7 percent during the regular season, he finally broke through against the Heat.

To Riley, it was no surprise. He thought Deng should've been an All-Star.

``I thought he was almost head and shoulders above a lot of the threes in our conference as an All-Star, save for maybe Caron Butler and somebody else like that,'' Riley said. ``He had a great year. He plays like that every single night.''

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

 

NBA Team Pages

Top NBA Public Bets

#1 807 Toronto Raptors 84%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NBA Futures

NBA TEAM NBA FINALS ODDS CURRENT
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 3/1
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 9/2
SAN ANTONIO SPURS 5/1
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 9/1
CHICAGO BULLS 9/1
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 14/1
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 14/1
DALLAS MAVERICKS 14/1
HOUSTON ROCKETS 16/1
TORONTO RAPTORS 20/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com