DeMar DeRozan – Why he’s playing better

DeMar DeRozan has been playing really well as of late. He has upped his scoring average every single month this season and he is off to a good start in the the 2 games that he has played in February.

To me, it seems like his shooting motion has improved, it is more fluid compared to his rookie season (wish I had some video evidence). This is definitely a testament to this work ethic. Consequently this means that all those commercials on NBATV Canada about him working out in the gym were not just badly edited commercial but rather an accurate portryal. I have heard that both him and Sonny are gym rats and that is very good for both themselves and the Raptors.

So in this article, I can only give an outsiders perspective as to why he is actually playing better. Evidently, DeMar knows best as to why he is actually playing better.

So, 1st – He is starting and is also playing more minutes than last year. Having more minutes probably allows him to get into the flow of the game. He is also less likely to get yanked if he makes a mistake, which is a luxury most players don’t have as rookies. Also, his general feel about the game seems to be better, this might be from just getting experience from last season. He is also being relied upon more out there. He is clearly the second option behind Bargnani and sometimes first.

Usually, players get stronger between rookie to sophomore season as they adjust but I can’t really tell at this pont.

2nd His mid-range game has improved. Above 10 feet, his shooting has improved significantly, while taking more shots

3rd Because of point 2, they are using him differently.

In watching the raptors games, it seems they have been using him more off the screen at the elbow. From there he is able to elevate into this shot or drive towards the basket. I think that’s where needs to develop his game from. Slowly he can extend it out as he gets more confidence.

Here is a simple example of how Bargnani used the pick to allow DeMar to get into the lane, where he can do a lot of damage.

As expected, his transition buckets are also pretty good but not compared to the rest of the NBA.

I was really surprised by his abilities when he is isolated. He ranks 36th in the NBA, not bad considering he is in his sophomore year and I would assume that this will improve as his experience and games add up.

Personally, I would like to see more off-screen plays called for DeMar.  His elite athleticism is unmatched during most nights. The curls and stagger screens really forces the defense adjusts because he is such a threat in the lane. So he needs to get in the lane as much as possible.

Eventually, the next big step for DeMar’s game is to work on recognizing the defense and passing him game, which will hopefully develop.


Keep working hard DeMar and hopefully you won’t leave us hanging after a good few years.




Data obtained from Mysynergy and Hoopdata


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