Luol Deng is the Chicago Bulls' barometer. As he goes, so goes his team.

At least that's the assessment of Heat guard James Jones, one of several Miami wing players tasked with manning up Deng in the teams' first two games of the Eastern Conference finals.

But a more apt backyard weather gizmo would be the rain gauge.

As in, the more shots Chicago's lanky small forward pours down upon the opposition, the better for the Bulls.

Deng, the seventh-year swingman from Duke, has been a consistently mediocre shooter in Chicago's wins and losses this postseason (42.6?percent from the field in the former, 41.8 in the latter).

But his averages in shot attempts (14.3), made field goals (6.1) and scoring (17.2) are all up in games the Bulls have won. Chicago is 4-1 in playoff games in which he scores more than 20 points.

"When he plays well, they play well," Jones said. "You see that he logs a lot of heavy minutes, and he does everything for them, from rebounding to scoring, passing, defending. He's definitely an integral part of what they do on the perimeter."

Of course, this is all a convoluted way of saying the Bulls are better when they get balance, and aren't just the Derrick Rose Show. Rose, the league MVP, had jacked up 27 or more shots in two of the Bulls' four losses this postseason.

Then last Wednesday, in the Heat's 85-75 triumph at United Center, Rose missed 16 of his 23 attempts and finished with an inefficient 21 points.

But he got little help from Deng, who made just a third of his shots for 13 points, tied for his second lowest output in the postseason. And that total included a half-court heave that went in as time expired at the end of the first period.