Monday, June 10, 2024

DeMar DeRozan Is A Serious MVP Candidate

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The Chicago Bulls have one game remaining until the All-Star break. Ahead of that game, they are tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Heading into this season there weren’t very many people who thought the Bulls would be in this position at the All-Star break. Even if you did believe this Bulls team could be where they are now you likely wouldn’t have guessed who the team MVP would be. Dubbed the “worst free-agent signing of the offseason” Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan is the best player on the Bulls roster. Averaging 27.9PPG, 51.5 %FG, 5.2 RPG, & 5.1 APG DeRozan is the driving force behind the Bull’s success. Throughout the season NBA has recognized DeRozan the most of any player so far.

While it’s nice to be recognized as the player of the week there’s one award where DeRozan needs to be in the conversation. The most valuable player in the league needs to include DeRozan’s name. If it doesn’t then the voters haven’t been watching basketball this year. There’s no Bulls bias here, it’s simply stats. DeRozan has been as consistent as it gets in the NBA. The Bulls have had injuries left and right and DeRozan has continued to carry the load. Looking beyond his basic stats he’s been the most clutch player in the league.

The King of the fourth

When you look at who the MVP is you should be looking at who the “most valuable” player is on a team. Meaning if you take that player off that team where would that team end up. If you look at DeRozan and base it on that I don’t see any way he shouldn’t be considered the MVP of the league. DeRozan leads the league in fourth-quarter scoring with 431 points. The next closest player is at 384. That’s 47 points behind DeRozan. On top of scoring the most points in the fourth, he has the third-best field goal percentage at 55.2%. He’s been as clutch as they come this season and without him, the Bulls wouldn’t have the record they do. The “King of the Fourth” is keeping the Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference.

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This stat alone should have DeRozan in the top 3 of the MVP rankings. In the latest rankings by the NBA DeRozan was 9th on the list. The 4th highest scoring player in the league with the 22nd best field goal percentage and the best player in the fourth quarter is 9th. While there are still a lot of games to be played the rankings seem to be off at this stage. No matter the rankings that are put out there DeRozan is going to continue to break team records and potentially NBA records.

DeRozan is making his mark in Bulls history

Looking at the numbers DeRozan has been putting up is impressive. If you just look at the points category you are impressed. However, the most impressive part about DeRozan’s game is his field goal percentage. So much so that DeRozan did something that no other Bull has ever done.

The midrange shooting from DeRozan is lethal. The best part about it is it’s effective and high percentage. DeRozan can completely tear apart another team without even shooting a three. That goes completely against the league and that’s likely a big reason why you don’t see him being talked about more. If he were shooting threes at the level he’s shooting from the midrange he would be on ESPN every minute. But his style of play doesn’t fit what the NBA has turned into. Regardless that’s not going to stop him from trying to do something that’s never been done before. 

If DeRozan can have another 35+ point 50% shooting night tonight he will be the only player ever to do such a thing in seven straight games. This isn’t just a Bulls record we are talking about. This is something that we’ve never seen in the NBA. Yet you don’t hear a whole lot of people talking about DeRozan when the MVP category comes up. However, over the last few days, the narrative has started to switch. DeRozan is starting to get the recognition he deserves. One more solid outing before the All-Star break and who knows what the conversation may look like during the break.

No more disrespecting DeMar

Ahead of the season, there was a lot of open disrespect surrounding DeRozan. No one believed in him or the Bulls. Yet here we are with the Bulls sitting atop the Eastern Conference. It’s finally time for the DeMar disrespect to stop, to do that he needs to be talked about during primetime opportunities. Players across the league are discussed during pregame shows and halftime discussions and it’s time for DeMar to be in all of those conversations. ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins agrees that DeRozan isn’t discussed enough.

By not talking about DeRozan it’s disrespectful. He’s a top player in the league and deserves to be treated as such. Thankfully he’s been getting more coverage this week but it’s still not enough. The upcoming All-Star game will be his opportunity to take the national spotlight and keep it. DeRozan is a starter for Team LeBron. While the All-Star game lacks defense it’s still an opportunity for DeRozan to shine. Then he will likely hear his name during national tv spotlights like this.

Bull’s fans know how good DeRozan has been. A lot of NBA fans know how good DeRozan has been. But he deserves to be someone whose name is consistently coming up when you mention MVP. It’s complete disrespect to put him in the ninth spot on that list. The best player in the NBA in the fourth quarter shouldn’t be ninth on that list. He’s scoring the 5th most points in the league it’s not like he’s just performing in one quarter and non-existent in the rest. It’s time for DeMar to receive the respect he deserves.

MVP Race

If the MVP vote were to happen today it would be a tough race. For me, you have to include DeRozan in the discussion. I’m not saying include him by just mentioning his name. I’m saying include him in the top 3 candidates. If DeRozan can keep up this level of play there’s no way to ignore him in the MVP race. Just look at his numbers in the last six games.

Those are MVP-type numbers. He’s shown his consistency. He’s shown that he cant take over when you need him most. It’s time to seriously consider DeRozan for league MVP.

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