Host Great Britain finally got on the board in the 2012 London Olympics, destroying China 90-58 in the finale for both squads. Unfortunately, as was a theme throughout the Olympics, Luol Deng struggled mightily from the field. Battling foul trouble from the start, Deng finished the game just 3-11 overall and 0-4 from three in 24 minutes of action. This came on the heels of a 3-15 performance in a rough 106-75 loss to Australia.
For the tournament, Deng averaged a respectable 15.8 points per game, but the field goal percentage numbers were extremely ugly. Overall, Lu shot just 31.4% from the field and a putrid 20% from three-point land. There are some legit reasons for these numbers, as Deng often garnered a ton of attention from opposing defenses, which led to plenty of difficult shots. He was also one of the only real shot creators for Great Britain, so he was asked to do quite a bit, which also led to more difficult shots. If you think about it, this was almost akin to Derrick Rose trying to single-handedly beat the Heat in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals.
But even so, those numbers are REALLY bad, and a big part of me believes that Deng's injured left wrist has at least a little something to do with it. Deng has insisted that the wrist is fine, but that could certainly just be him trying to downplay any issues and take the focus off the injury. The fact remains that his shooting numbers in these Olympics were dreadful, and that his 41.2% mark from the field in 2011-12 was by far the worst of his career. His free throw attempts also dipped last year as he kept mostly to the perimeter.
With Great Britain's Olympics over, we will now wait and see whether Deng will actually have surgery on that wrist. K.C. Johnson has reported that Deng plans to either avoid it completely or wait until after next season, while Tom Thibodeau has said he doesn't believe his small forward will need the surgery and will be ready by training camp.
I've always thought that Deng should just get the surgery ASAP after the Olympics, and his performance in London only bolsters my opinion on that. All the estimations I've seen for recovery time after wrist surgery is 3-4 months, so if he went under the knife relatively soon, he wouldn't really miss that much regular season time. Maybe a month or so? Maybe not even that? Sure the Bulls would be a real rough watch without both Deng and Rose to start the year, but whatever. It's a "treading water" year anyway, right?
If Deng is truly feeling little pain and doesn't think he needs surgery at all, then I guess I'd be okay with that. But if he does plan on getting the surgery at some point down the road, I really don't see the point in waiting. He might as well just get it done now so he can come back 100% healthy this season. Perhaps he feels pressure to play because of Rose's injury, but that should be irrelevant. He should do what's best for him and the team long term. And I believe that's undergoing the surgery now.
What do you all think?