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Luol Deng Injury: Is the wrist pain pushing Deng's shots farther from the basket?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

After the Hornets game this week, I noticed that Nick Friedell noticed that Luol Deng's wrist injury seemed to be affecting his shot selection. It was something Friedell reiterated on Thursday afternoon:

His wrist continues to bother him more than he is letting on I think.

This is all anecdotal and speculative, and though I can't say I've noticed the same thing Friedell is closer to the action. And you'd figure there's little chance Luol would admit anything is bothering him even if it were true.

But new (to me) Bulls blog Six Rings and Counting did the work in actually seeing if Deng's shot location has changed since coming back from his wrist injury.

Deng’s powerful start to the season saw him shooting roughly as often inside 9 feet as he did from 16 feet and beyond. But since his Jan. 21 injury

Deng FGA 0-9 Feet 16+ Feet
Before (18 games) 6.7 7.2
After (12 games) 5.0 8.3

This doesn't look to be a huge difference, but it would make sense if Deng is indeed being hesitant, even subconsciously, to attack the rim as often (and with the same ferocity) as he did before. Deng's a warrior and a hero to all of mankind, and we've been told he can't do any more structural damage to his wrist. But it is a torn ligament, and his decision to put off surgery while playing professional basketball means it likely won't be getting any better, either.