Luol-Deng-150318-Shot-AI-300Take a look at Miami Heat forward Luol Deng’s performance in Thursday’s 108-104 home win over the Portland Trail Blazers, and it gives you a glimpse of his distinction for African-born Player of the Week for games played from 16 to 22 March.

The South Sudan-born player made all his four three-point attempts to go with 24 points as the Heat (32-37) made a tremendous statement of their intentions heading to the end of the regular-season.

Deng, who now leads the Heat from three-point range, shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc, did a little more last week, by averaging 14 points in four games to help the Heat win three of their last four games.

On Tuesday, Deng had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists as the Heat beat the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers 106-92, and poured in 15 points in a 108-91 triumph over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

Deng’s current shooting prowess could bolster the Heat, who seek an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

How can he be so efficient?

“It’s just how we play here,” said the man who joined the Heat after spending most of his career at the Chicago Bulls and had a short stint with the Cavaliers.

“When we move the ball, we’ve got to fill in spots. If you’re a long-range shooter, it kind of opens the floor.

“It’s really a different system.

“In Chicago, we pounded the ball in more than anything. Here, we do a lot of pick-and-rolls and reading each other. It’s about a lot of set plays and being in certain spots.

“I come in at night and I shoot. I’m just trying to work out the way this offense is. To shoot the 3 is needed more than I’ve done in my career,” he explained.

Miami will take on Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday morning, before visiting Boston, Atlanta and hosting Detroit on Sunday.


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