Report: Heat going after, getting closer to deal with Luol Deng


Luol Deng is an All-Star small forward and there aren’t many places he could land where he would be a downgrade at the position.

Miami is one of them.

Yet he is a fit — the Heat need a three and they have some cap room. So Pat Riley has gone hard after Deng and appears to be making progress, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Rockets had been targeting Deng but that appears dead.

A lineup of Norris Cole (or Shabazz Napier), Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Chris Bosh would be both entertaining and would put up some points. That’s two bigs who can space the floor and move the ball, guys who work off the ball and some interesting matchup problems. Not a lot of defense but they should score.

That’s a playoff lineup in the East.

Deng is a very strong defender who scores plenty of points as a third scoring option — he’s a good role man and gets hustle points in transition or working off the ball.

There are a lot of questions to be answered in Miami, things are certainly not going to be the same anymore. But with Deng in the fold along with Wade and Bosh, this is a team worth buying a ticket to see.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.