The Miami Heat signed Luol Deng to replace LeBron James at small forward. They believe Luol Deng can anchor their defense
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After losing the game’s best player, LeBron James, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat acted quickly. President Pat Riley re-signed Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, among others, then quickly found James’ replacement in former Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers’ small forward Luol Deng.
Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders believes the Heat signed Luol Deng so he could anchor their defense.
"Deng will try to anchor the defensive side of the ball as well. Heading into training camp this season, HEAT head coach Erik Spoelstra is making it a point of emphasis to improve the defense. After falling out of the top 10 in points allowed per 100 possessions last season, Spoelstra wants to improve the defense and spoke very highly of Deng’s defensive efforts. In past seasons, Deng was leaned upon heavily in Tom Thibodeau’s defensive schemes and rotations and should continue to be somebody Spoelstra can count on."
Luol Deng has been a fantastic defender since he stepped foot in the league. Obviously, he’s no LeBron James but he can he is a former all-star and could be the reason the Heat are able to secure home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Luol Deng averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 43.1% from the field, 30.2% from three and 79.1% from the charity stripe. Luol Deng has averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 45.7% from the field, 32.9% from beyond the arc and 77.3% from the free throw line in his 10-year career.
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