It Doesn’t Matter How Well You Guard DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan had himself a game last night … and the night before that … and the night before that … and, well, you get the point.

The 6th-leading scorer in the NBA is averaging a ridiculous 30.3 points per contest over his last eight games. He’s shot 56.7 percent from the field over that stretch, a mark that is only a few notches higher than his 50.6 percent field goal percentage on the season. If this clip holds, it would make for the second-best shooting season of his 13-year-long career (the best came two seasons ago when DeRozan shot 53.1 percent from the field for the San Antonio Spurs). But that’s merely a technicality.

There is no question what DeRozan has done this season will trump what he accomplished in 2019-20. The same can likely be said about the season where he averaged a career-high 27.3 points on a career-high 20.2 field goal attempts per game (2016-17). No matter where DeRozan’s stats end up in the ranks of his illustrious career, he is making a strong case for this to be the season we all consider his best. And all we need to do is watch a couple of clips to know why.

In his matchup with the Atlanta Hawks last night, DeRozan sank tough shot after tough shot on his way to his 9th 30-point game of the season. Atlanta may not be known for having a particularly stout defensive unit (25th), especially with so many missing bodies, but Bogdan Bogdanovic stuck to DeRozan’s hip well while Clint Capela helped protect the rim. None of that mattered, though.

Feast your eyes:

 

Only two players average at least 10 field goal attempts per game in tight coverage (aka when a defender is within 2-4 feet of the player): DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Durant. The Bulls forward is averaging a 50.7 percent clip on those shots with Durant right behind at 50.4 percent, per NBA Stats.

DeRozan isn’t trying to be sneaky. If anything, the midrange assassin invites defenders to contest his shot as he attacks the same spots on the floor in relentless fashion. Most players know what DeRozan is going to try to do before he does it, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to stop it, especially when we consider he also shoots the 4th-most free-throws per game at 7.7. This is an ability only the best players have, which is why MVP-candidate Kevin Durant is stationed right next to him when we look at the league’s top contested bucket-makers. I’d also consider this as the ability that explains why DeRozan is the best 4th quarter scorer in the league.

DeRozan has turned himself into a footwork menace. There is no slowing him down or speeding him up. When he fades at the elbow or turns around at the baseline or pulls up at the free-throw line, he looks like he’s relying on a natural instinct. Put a brick wall in front of DeRozan that rises to the rafters, and I might bet money his well-trained mind finds a way to drop in through the net.

Don’t get me wrong, elements of this dominance have been inside DeRozan for years. The four-time All-Star has been one of the best mid-range scorers in the game for the past half-decade. However, he’s taken things to new heights this season with a career-high 50 percent on mid-range looks, and it’s allowed him to take over in a way that has pushed the Bulls into the top-4 of the NBA standings. Everything about it has been a joy to watch. Well, that is, if you aren’t guarding him.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

more bulls news

Sounds Like Change is FINALLY Coming for the Chicago Bulls

Less than 24 hours after the Chicago Bulls' season ended unceremoniously, Arturas Karnisovas showed face. The organization's head of basketball operations sat down at the podium with a sigh and unfolded a highlighted piece of paper. What came next – to...

Bulls Will Monitor the Availability of a “Star Player” in a Trade (Uh … With What Assets?)

The second the Chicago Bulls' season came to a close was the second the rumors started. This upcoming offseason is expected to be stuffed with storylines for a franchise that has now faced back-to-back Play-In Tournament exits and below-.500 finishes....

DeRozan Addresses His Future, Vucevic is Brutally Honest, Donovan Talks “Continuity,” and Other Bulls Bullets

I'm trying to find the words to describe the feeling of waking up after the Chicago Bulls' second-straight Play-In Tournament collapse. It doesn't quite feel like the morning after some bar hopping. It also surely doesn't feel like the morning...

Exhale, Relax … It’s Finally Over: Miami 112, Bulls 91 – April 19, 2024

The Chicago Bulls started the game still sizzling from Wednesday night. Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and DeMar DeRozan each hit a 3 within the first 3 minutes of the game. The Bulls' offense looked like they were ready for the...

What the Play-In Loss Means for the Chicago Bulls’ Lottery Odds

As frustrating as it is to see the Chicago Bulls miss the playoffs for a second straight season, it was probably for the better. It doesn't take a basketball savant to know this franchise is currently on a fast track...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

The Bulls and Heat go at it for the last spot in the NBA Playoffs. Let's get it. https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1781299357574213738 Game Info Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls – 6:00 p.m. CT on ESPN (TV) and 670 The Score (Radio) Chicago Bulls Coby White...

Scottie Pippen’s Youngest Son Will Play at Michigan

A familiar last name will be in the Big Ten next season. Scottie Pippen's kid, Justin, has committed to the University of Michigan, according to Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. The youngest son of the Chicago Bulls legend, Pippen started...

Fans Aren’t the Problem, Fun With Coby White’s Big Night, Miami is Still Scary, and Other Bulls Bullets

I was sitting at an empty table with my legs crossed sipping on some white wine. The rest of the group was up on the dance floor, sending over the increasingly frequent wave to join them. I followed up each...

Adama Sanogo’s Great Play in the G League Led to Some Nice Recognition

One Chicago Bulls player has already taken home some hardware. As the NBA waits to announce its end-of-season awards, the G-League has started to share its top accolades. While the Windy City Bulls finished an underwhelming 15-19 on the season,...

Alex Caruso Expects to Play Against Miami

Alex Caruso could be missing a foot and would probably still suit up for a do-or-die game. The Chicago Bulls' defensive anchor told ESPN's Jamal Collier that he expects to play in tonight's Play-In Tournament game against the Miami Heat....

Latest News

Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The St. Louis Cardinals (9-13), with Lance Lynn on the hill, host the Arizona Diamondbacks (11-12) who will counter with Brandon Pfaadt, at 7:45 PM ET on Monday.Keep reading to see how to watch the St. Louis-Arizona matchup below.When is...

Blue Jays vs. Royals: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Toronto Blue Jays (12-10), with Yusei Kikuchi on the mound, visit the Kansas City Royals (13-9) who will counter with Brady Singer, at 7:40 PM ET on Monday.The article below will provide you with everything you need to know...

How to Watch Padres vs. Rockies: Live Stream or on TV

The San Diego Padres (12-12), with Dylan Cease on the hill, visit the Colorado Rockies (5-16) who will counter with Austin Gomber, at 8:40 PM ET on Monday in a series opener.See how to watch the San Diego-Colorado matchup below.When...

Twins vs. White Sox: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

Ryan Jeffers and the Minnesota Twins (7-13) host Gavin Sheets and the Chicago White Sox (3-18) on Monday in a series opener, with first pitch at 7:40 PM ET.If you're planning on watching this game, keep reading for streaming and...

Braves vs. Marlins: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Monday, Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves (14-5) open a series versus Luis Arraez and the Miami Marlins (6-17) at Truist Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:20 PM ET.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Atlanta-Miami...

Celtics vs. Heat Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets for NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Miami Heat are big 15-point underdogs for Game 2 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Wednesday, tipping off at 7:00 PM ET on TNT. The Celtics are on top...

Tigers vs. Rays: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Riley Greene and the Detroit Tigers (12-10) visit Amed Rosario and the Tampa Bay Rays (12-11) on Monday, with first pitch at 6:50 PM ET.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch Detroit play Tampa Bay...

Phillies vs. Reds: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Philadelphia Phillies (14-8), with Ranger Suarez on the hill, visit the Cincinnati Reds (12-9) who will hand the ball to Hunter Greene, at 6:40 PM ET on Monday in a series opener.Keep reading to see how to watch the...

Pirates vs. Brewers: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Pittsburgh Pirates (11-11), led by Connor Joe, host William Contreras and the Milwaukee Brewers (14-6) at 6:40 PM ET on Monday in a series opener.The article below will give you everything you need to know to watch Pittsburgh take...

Cavaliers vs. Magic Predictions, Best Bets and Odds: NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Monday, April 22, 2024

The Orlando Magic are 5.5-point underdogs heading into Game 2 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Monday, starting at 7:00 PM ET on NBA. The Cavaliers are up 1-0...

more bulls news