DeMar DeRozan has been on another level lately. There are no two ways about it. DeRozan has been playing like an MVP candidate, and now he can say that he’s made NBA history.
With a 38-point performance on 16-of-27 (59.2%) shooting on Wednesday night, DeRozan passed Wilt Chamberlain for the most consecutive games with 35 or more points and 50 percent of better shooting with his seventh straight such performance.
DeMar DeRozan becomes the first player in NBA history with seven straight games of 35+ points and 50% or better shooting. pic.twitter.com/5Brb0ENCEv
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 17, 2022
Let’s let that marinate for a minute here this morning … DeMar DeRozan broke a record owned by Wilt Chamberlain.
“Just to be in the record books along with staples in this basketball history is speechless,” DeRozan said. “As a kid, as a fan of the history of the game, being in the league as long I’ve been in the league, things like that continue to make me even more humble.”
DeRozan might be speechless when it comes to his feelings on having his name forever engrained in NBA history, but he’s not short on words when it comes to how he feels about what his record-setting string of performances have meant to the Chicago Bulls, who now take a five-game winning streak and a 38-21 record into the All-Star break.
“I try to challenge myself every day I come to work, no matter how I feel, no matter if I’m having a good or bad day, the only thing that matters when I come into work is getting a victory.”
DeRozan is averaging 37.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists while shooting 58.2 percent from the floor over his last eight games, dating back to the Bulls’ February 4 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls are 6-2 in those eight games. After an ugly loss to the Phoenix Suns, DeMar DeRozan says that Billy Donovan challenged the Bulls to finish out the first half of the season strong.
“Coach kind of set out a challenge for us five games ago, letting us know if you want to be a great team at this point, take on a challenge in closing out this half of the season with the next five games,” DeRozan related. “We took on the challenge and that’s what I’m proud of coming into the break. We took on that challenge and we were 5-0. Now we can recharge and get close to getting everybody back and come back with fresh minds and fresh bodies and attack this thing.”
DeRozan and the injury-riddled Bulls did just that.
DeRozan. Untouchable. pic.twitter.com/TKSj81srXF
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) February 15, 2022
If you haven’t started yet, you’d be wise to begin considering DeMar DeRozan a legitimate MVP candidate this season. Sure, passing guys like Jokic, Embiid, and Giannis will be nearly impossible for DeRozan to do at this point, but he’s carrying this Bulls team. With all of the roster shortcomings and injury adversity that the Bulls have had to deal with, for them to be sitting 17 games over .500 at the All-Star break and atop the Eastern Conference is a testament to DeRozan’s impact on this team and the argument for his name being in the MVP discussion.
Regardless of how all that shakes out, it’s been one heck of a ride for Bulls fans these last two weeks. Congratulations to DeMar DeRozan on making some NBA history!