DeMar Derozan and the Raptors’ Success

Demar Derozan

We want what DeMar Derozan has been eating this season.

When most people think of Toronto’s best scorers, people immediately picture the likes of Vince Carter, and Chris Bosh from yesteryear, but could DeMar Derozan scribe his name into the Canadian franchise’s history books?

If this season’s anything to go by, the 24 year old could well be on his way to a more than productive career.

Judging from one season is admittedly a less than secure way to make judgement on a young player, for every Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, there’s an Andrew Bynum or Michael Beasley.

Things can look great to begin with, but injury or other factors can swiftly derail any young starlets career.

DeMar Derozan seems almost immune to this for now, keeping quiet off the court and doing what needs doing on it.

This season has been one of growth for the fourth year pro from USC, upping his scoring, rebounding and passing over the regular season, and is quickly becoming a feared fourth quarter scorer.

This current series against Brooklyn has proved just how dangerous he can be in the final period, with his game two performance shining through in what was a wondrous night at the Air Canada Centre.

Toronto Raptors

Looking back at the regular season, he’s been scoring massively in the final quarters of plenty of games finishing comfortably within the top 15 final period scorers.

One of the most surprising and matured statistics you can find about DeRozan is his uncanny ability to get to the free throw line, and then convert those chances.

The 6’7’’ hybrid guard/forward ranks fourth this season in free throws made, and shoots an 82% clip when he gets there, something which can’t be said of plenty of players in the league.

It isn’t just his scoring in the big moments that has been impressive either, DeRozan has been right up there in scoring in general, finishing 9th overall, ahead of Paul George, Al Jefferson and Dirk Nowitzki.

This kind of scoring, mixed with Derozan’s all-round performance, makes him an extremely useful player, who fits in perfectly with Toronto’s gritty style.

Alongside Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, and Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto have a deceptively good line-up, and one that is more than capable of taking Brooklyn all the way in this entertaining first round series.

Another key to Toronto’s success has been their raucous fan base, often gathering outside the Raptors’ arena whether they’re playing there or not.

Derozan has instantly become a fan favourite for a team which isn’t synonymous with success, and more importantly, players like him have played through the tough times as well.

These Raptors don’t expect to go and blow out their opposition, they know they are going to have to play hard each and every minute, and have a real ‘no-die’ attitude, partly in thanks to Dwayne Casey’s impressive coaching style as well.

This mantra, developed alongside a group of capable players and passionate fans, make Toronto a real breath of fresh air this season.

Here’s to hoping that Toronto carry on improving, and maybe even have an extended run during this year’s playoffs.

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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