Luol Deng’s versatility and emergence as a scorer have been absolutely vital to the Heat’s survival without Chris Bosh, and they can’t afford to go without him long.
The good news for Miami is that Deng thinks he’ll be back soon. He sat out the loss to San Antonio on Wednesday to recover from a bruised left thigh, an injury that has bothered him since a collision with Charlotte’s Marvin Williams on Mar. 17, but was optimistic about playing Friday against the Magic.
“It’s not something that’s gonna be long,” Deng said. “We just want to give it two days. It happened in the Charlotte game. The Cleveland game was OK, didn’t feel great, but we played well. My mindset (Tuesday at New Orleans) was try to do as much as I can. I wasn’t gonna come out at the end of the game. It’s just being smart, really. It’s not something I see being long.”
Deng struggled against the Pelicans with five points on 1-for-7 shooting in 29 minutes. He felt slower than usual because of the injury.
“It was my usual running and moving just getting tighter,” he said. “That always happens with bruises. You can get away with a bruise during the game and maybe the next couple days, but after like three days or so it gets tighter and tighter. It feels better today. We’re just trying to be smart and get as much treatment as we can on it. Hopefully I’ll be ready next game.”