DeMar DeRozan impressed in his first season at Chicago Bulls. However, the expectation of an improvement upon an unlikely career year might not come to fruition.
In his first season with the Chicago Bulls, forward DeMar DeRozan had a phenomenal season for a 33-year old, averaging an impressive 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game and helped the Bulls return to the post-season for the first time since 2017.
The former USC star also made his fifth All-Star Game and was a starter.
Well, as good as the stats are, hoping he plays at the same level or improving upon what was already an unlikely career year might just be too much of an ask.
DeMar DeRozan's final stats:— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 11, 2022
27.9 ppg (career-high, 5th in NBA)
50.4 FG% (2nd-best of career)
87.7 FT% (2nd-best of career)
5.2 rpg (tied for 3rd-best avg. of career)
4.9 apg (5th best)
36.1 mpg (most since 2013-14)
.590 TS% (3rd-best of career)
Basketball Reference predicts that DeRozan would replicate last season’s heroics in the new campaign by averaging 25.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Quite reasonable expectations, no doubt, but the platform might not have taken into account that DeMar is entering his 14th season, and that his scoring could dip further to around 20-22 points per game.
To their credit, it’s becoming increasingly common for players to put up big numbers in their 30s. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are prime examples, but James is a superior athlete and Durant is a better shooter. Be that as it may, DeRozan relies more on his terrific footwork and expert ability to utilize screens to put himself in scoring position rather than relying on explosiveness alone.
DeMar DeRozan had 36 Pts in Wednesday's win over the Pistons.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 10, 2022
It was his 40th 25-point game of the season, most by a Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1997-98.
DeRozan also has 10 games this season with 35+ Pts and 0 3-pt FG — the rest of the NBA has 10 such games combined. pic.twitter.com/Py6pfvIPet
Additionally, while much has been made about DeMar DeRozan not being a threat from three point range, he is still an efficient offensive player as he hits a high percentage of his 2-point attempts. That should allow him to age fairly well as an offensive player, but perhaps not as well as he is projected for the soon to begin 2022-23 NBA season.
Although he still has the right moves to be a dominant scorer and the court vision to be an above-average playmaker, however, should his athleticism or speed dip beginning next season, which seems likely given the mileage on his body, his numbers could suffer as a result. It won’t come as a surprise if he does not become nearly as good as he was last year.
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