The Sunday Read is a look at the best Sunday columns around the NBA.
Stan Van Gundy is right. Derrick Rose is going to win the 2010-11 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors. In addition, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has a great shot to win the Coach of the Year award. At worst, he’ll finish second.
But David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune believes that the Bulls have another award winner on their team. He writes Sunday that Luol Deng is the league’s most underrated player …
When anybody mentions the Bulls’ Big 3, they usually mean Rose, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. But without the consistency of Deng the Bulls would find themselves fighting for playoff position in the East with the Hawks and Magic in the middle rather than leading the Celtics at the top.
After the Bulls added seven new players last offseason, most notably Boozer, perception grew that Deng would take on a lesser role. The reality is that the less the Bulls have needed to depend on Deng, the more indispensable he became holding things together on both ends of the floor.
“There’s no way we would be in this position if not for the year he’s having and all the things he does for our team,” Thibodeau said.
There’s no way the Bulls will get to the conference finals they need to reach to meet rising expectations without Deng continuing to play at the elite level that has become the norm this season.
- Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald praises the work of Tom Thibodeau, perhaps the favorite to win Coach of the Year..
- Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News profiles the New Jersey Nets’ newest star, Deron Williams.
- Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe diagnoses the problems of the struggling Celtics, who have lost six of their last 10.