Sunday, August 14, 2022

DeMar DeRozan Is Thriving In The Windy City


DeMar DeRozan has become one of the common names among NBA players in today’s league. Straight out of Compton, the 32-year-old USC Trojan made his presence known when being selected by the Toronto Raptors in 2009. DeRozan was known for his playmaking abilities and ability to take it to the rim with no backing down. After being traded in 2018 as part of the Kawhi Leonard trade, DeRozan joined Greg Popovich and the Spurs.

DeRozan spent the next 3 seasons as a member of the Spurs, where he was a key piece to the team and the true star of the team. This past offseason, however, led him to find a new hometown. The Windy City welcomed him with open arms in the summer of 2021 when he agreed to a sign-and-trade to join the new squad. Although DeRozan has continued to be a leader on and off the court, it’s obvious to see that #11 is thriving in a new uniform.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

The veteran has been among the league’s best in statistics throughout his career with an average of 20.3 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. The 4-time All-Star was a terror for the Raptors and Spurs, but there has been an obvious upswing in his numbers since joining the Bulls.

Through 21 games this season, DeRozan has averaged 25.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. Now, let’s compare that to last season’s stats through the first 21 games. DeRozan was averaging just 17.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 6 assists. It’s obvious that the statistics are positively increasing, but why is that?

Offseason Additions

The Chicago Bulls had a very successful 2021 offseason, especially in terms of free agency. The biggest additions? Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball. Sure, DeMar was surrounded by Patty Mills and LaMarcus Aldridge when he was a member of the Spurs before heading to Chicago. But c’mon, let’s be real. Caruso, Lavine, Ball…yea, we’ll take that support system, too.

Caruso is currently averaging 8.5 points and about 4 rebounds/assists per game, while Lonzo adds another 12.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists to the team. These two have helped add to a roster that is full of depth, such as young stars Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White. These additions are all reasons why DeRozan could be improving his play. A team can scout the Bulls all they want, but with multiple scorers on the floor at one time, it takes a lot of pressure off DeMar to score and lead a team.

Lavine is Lovin’ DeMar

Zach Lavine has been a star since joining the Bulls for the 2017-2018 season. Many knew he would be a stud, but this season is proving what all the hype is about. Through the first 21 games, Lavine is averaging 25.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Yes, you read that correctly. Imagine trying to guard this duo of Lavine and DeRozan. It’s terrifying, isn’t it?

This should give Bulls fans chills. The chemistry is only building, as many videos have been posted across social media platforms displaying their brotherly love for one another. We may not be able to declare them a combo like Jordan and Pippen, but they’re sure trying to make us think about it. For example, take a look at this stat that these two have built together.

This is insane, and Bulls fans should be hyped about the future of this team, but more specifically, this duo.

We Can Thank the Lakers

All the rumors surrounding DeRozan have linked him back to Los Angeles. Growing up in Compton and attending USC shows his ties with his hometown Lakers, so that’s what everyone assumed would happen. Heck, even DeMar thought this would be the case.

But after the Lakers decided to trade for Russell Westbrook, DeRozan knew it wasn’t meant to be. Could you imagine seeing him play in the purple and gold? Disgusting, right?

We can thank GM Marc Eversley for his help in rebuilding this Bulls team, and especially for acquiring DeMar. The Bulls are a different team this year, currently sitting at 13-8 and 4th in the Eastern Conference. None of this would be possible without the help of DeMar, who couldn’t do it without the help of his teammates. And with all this being said, one thing remains certain: DeMar DeRozan chose the right home.

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