Somewhere embedded deep in DeMar DeRozan’s DNA is a bucket, and you can’t convince me otherwise.
Chicago’s leading scorer has been one of the NBA’s best this season, averaging 26.7 points per game on a 49.8 percent clip. The last time DeRozan averaged at least 26 points per game (the 2016-17 season) he went on to make his third All-Star appearance with the Toronto Raptors before leading the franchise to an Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
DeRozan’s current streak of seven-straight games with at least 24 points ties the second-longest such streak of his career (10 games with 24+ points in 2019-20). Those numbers have kept him firmly planted among the league’s top-6 scorers, as well as right at the top of the NBA’s list of best 4th quarter bucket-getters.
What DeRozan continues to accomplish this season is nothing short of remarkable. Even though he may already have four All-Star appearances under his belt, the 32-year-old is showing a new level of consistency and efficiency on the offensive side of the ball. The 721 points he’s scored in his first 27 games in Chicago is a franchise record, per Statmuse (Michael Jordan, duh, sits second with 661 points during his rookie campaign).
Look outside of the franchise, however, and DeRozan is reminding everyone this season that his name remains alongside some of the best to ever play the game.
With his 24 points in the team’s 113-105 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night, DeRozan has moved into 69th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (h/t HoopsHype). I know … NICE!
DeRozan officially passed Piston great Mark Aguirre, and he is now quickly approaching the next iconic tier of talent.
Take a look …
69. DeRozan (18,472)
68. Zach Randolph (18,578)
67. Bob McAdoo (18,787)
66. Isiah Thomas (18,822)
65. Chet Walker #BullsLegend (18,831)
64. Jason Terry (18,881)
63. Scottie Pippen #BullsLegend (18,940)
The Bulls veteran forward started the season with 17,751 points to his name, meaning he has since jumped 16 places over the past 27 games. As he inches his way higher, it will only get that much tougher to knock down the guy in front of him, but DeRozan has shown the kind of consistency and stamina it takes to continue this historic rise.
Only nine* active players are higher than DeRozan on the current all-time scoring list, including Dwight Howard (58th), Stephen Curry (56th), LaMarcus Aldridge (46th), Chris Paul (44th), Russell Westbrook (33rd), James Harden (32nd), Kevin Durant (24th), Carmelo Anthony (9th), and LeBron James (3rd).
Even if DeRozan falls off his current pace slightly, he should be comfortably in line to enter the NBA’s top-50 scorers of all-time by the end of the season. And while I know that may not be the biggest deal nor the most important storyline, it’s pretty darn cool to have a player on that trajectory currently in a Bulls uniform, especially when he is still playing like he is in his prime.
Let’s keep climbing, DeMar!
*Technically, we can bump that number up to 10 active players if we include the 10-day contract for 40-year-old Joe Johnson (45th).