DeMar DeRozan Quickly Silences the Doubters (...Again)

Social Navigation

DeMar DeRozan Quickly Silences the Doubters (…Again)

Chicago Bulls

I most definitely believe that this Bulls team is destined for a play-in tournament berth this season. I think they lack the firepower to compete in the Eastern Conference in a serious fashion, and Zach LaVine’s latest … whatever the heck this is … is doing nothing to drum up any more confidence on my end.

My concerns with this team – to one degree or another – involve pretty much everyone but DeMar DeRozan.

Still, there is a segment of fans and pundits that thought that DeRozan might not be able to replicate last season’s success. Those people are likely the same ones that called him washed when he arrived in Chicago in the first place. But as DeRozan proved (again) last night, those people are mistaken.

Without Zach LaVine in the lineup, DeRozan owned the night on the road against the Miami Heat, a smart bet to make another Eastern Conference Finals appearance next spring. The veteran shooting guard scored 37 points and logged nine assists and six rebounds, with 28 of his points coming after halftime.

DeRozan had some things to say about the so-called experts once again predicting his downfall after the game:

“So called experts, look for another job to do or something like that,” DeRozan said. “They can say what they want. I learn never to get caught up in that, never going to change the way I approach the game, my passion for the game, the things I put in. Let everyone say what they want; everyone got freedom of speech, right?”

They can, and they did. Miami was the heavy favorite last night, but DeRozan and the Bulls had other plans despite a slow start on Wednesday night. DeRozan scored the bulk of his points in the second half as the Bulls put together a sizeable lead and eventually put the Heat away despite things getting closer than DeRozan and the Bulls would have liked.

“Everybody stayed locked in,” said DeRozan. “When they hit a big shot, or we made a mistake, we didn’t get down on ourselves, made it up on the next play and the one after that. Last year we used to let other teams steamroll, and we’d lose a lead and let mistakes affect the rest of the game. Tonight, we stayed the course when they made big shots; we made big plays when we needed them.”

What the Bulls season might look like is still unclear, but DeMar DeRozan’s message to the naysayers last night was loud and clear.

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.