One of the league's stingiest defenses has drawn postseason recognition again.
Bulls forward Luol Deng landed on the NBA's All-Defensive second team Wednesday, following Joakim Noah's inclusion on the same team after last season. The Bulls haven't had an All-Defensive first-team member since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were on the 1997-98 squad.
In his first such inclusion, Deng received six first- and eight second-place votes for 20 points from the 30 NBA head coaches. Coaches had to vote by position and were prohibited from voting for their players. The Celtics' Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo, the Knicks' Tyson Chandler and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant joined Deng on the second team.
The first team consisted of the Grizzlies' Tony Allen -- a native Chicagoan -- the Clippers' Chris Paul, the Thunder's Serge Ibaka, the Heat's LeBron James and the Magic's Dwight Howard. Howard beat out Chandler, who won Defensive Player of the Year honors in voting by media.
Deng continued to display his defensive versatility despite suffering torn ligaments in his left wrist Jan. 21. He consistently guarded the opponent's best perimeter player and finished ninth, drawing one first-place vote, in Defensive Player of the Year voting.
"You can't say enough about Luol," coach Tom Thibodeau said on more than one occasion during the season.
Noah finished third in center voting with 14 points, well behind Chandler's 36 points. Surprisingly, Carlos Boozer received one second-place vote. So did Derrick Rose, who missed 27 games, though Thibodeau consistently cited Rose's defensive improvement.
Forman followed through on his vow to meet with Deng regarding his Olympic commitment, which Forman mentioned at the news conference for Rose's knee surgery. Deng has made it clear he plans to play for Great Britain in the London Games to repay the country that granted his family political asylum from war-torn Sudan, postponing his decision on wrist surgery until August.
The Bulls are hopeful Deng, who will make $13.3 million in 2012-13, can avoid missing any time next season. The talk with Forman centered on ways to maximize Deng's health moving forward.