DeMar DeRozan scored 612 points in the 4th quarter this past season — 84 more than the next closest player, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In clutch situations – games within 5 points with five minutes remaining – DeRozan was a singular point away from tying Embiid for the NBA’s leading scorer. But it’s worth noting his absurd 53.5 field goal percentage sat comfortably higher than Embiid’s 47.0 percent.
In other words, arguably no player scored at a higher level with the game on the line this season than DeRozan, and the stats from his crazy 13th year in the league have just gotten … well … crazier.
The Athletic’s Seth Partnow recently shared some bonkers info about DeRozan’s lethal scoring in his Top-125 player rankings.
Check it out:
According to Inpredictable.com, DeRozan’s performance in clutch situations netted the Bulls 5.8 additional wins, more than double the figure of the next-best player (Gary Trent Jr. at 2.7 wins added. Nikola Jokic’s +2.6 and Steph Curry’s +2.5 were also top 5 marks). DeRozan’s 165 shot attempts in the clutch led the league as well, while his 61.8 effective field goal percentage on those attempts was fourth among the 50 players with at least 72 clutch attempts.
That’s right: DeRozan – who fell within his 25-32 range of Partnow’s rankings – single-handedly won the Bulls more games in the clutch this season than any other player … by, like, a lot.
I guess when we consider his back-to-back buzzer-beaters, this stat becomes a little more believable. But I still struggle to comprehend just how productive he was in these tight situations on almost a nightly basis!
Each time the ball landed in the man’s hands with under 60 seconds left on the clock, it truly felt like watching the climax of a cheesy sports movie over and over and over and over. It’s an experience I’ll surely never forget.
It’s also an experience I’ll never expect to happen again. While I’m sure DeRozan has plenty of clutch moments left in him, I think we’d be silly to hold him to this same standard heading into the 2022-23 season.
The fact of the matter is that the 33-year-old likely isn’t going to repeat the success we gasped at this season. But that’s ok! After all, shouldn’t the hope be that DeRozan’s workload in these situations can diminish due to the continued development of the teammates around him?
Indeed, I know it sounds weird to wish for DeRozan to see far fewer game-winning shots, but that’s simply because we hope the Bulls are good enough to be in far fewer of those close games. If not, though, at least they got DeClosin’.