In today’s world of basketball, we admire the three-point shot. Fast break threes, contested threes, and even centers shooting threes. It has become one of the most important aspects of the game. So much so that analytics would tell you that it’s better than a mid-range shot. The game has adjusted to this transition but one person who has stayed trued to himself is DeMar Derozan.
DeMar DeRozan is having the best start to a career since the great Michael Jordan back in the 1986-1987 season. DeRozan is averaging 34 points and 4.8 rebounds, shooting .528% from the field. But the standout stat for this great start is the fact that he’s scored at least 30 points in 8 of the first 9 games. Outside of Jordan, the only other players to accomplish this are Elgin Baylor, Jack Twyman, Nate Archibald, World B. Free, and Wilt Chamberlain who did it three different times.
This scoring onslaught from DeMar DeRozan has been impressive but what’s been more impressive is how he’s getting it done. The Raptor’s shooting guard has never been known as an outside shooter. And with how popular it is today, he has not gravitated towards taking more threes. He has remained true to his game, sticking to what he does best.
Throughout nine games, he has only taken 14 threes, making three of them. A huge majority of his scoring has come within the mid-range area, where he has shot an efficient 50.9%. The way DeRozan has been scoring has seemed effortless as he’s just been finding his spots and rising over his defenders for pull-up jumpers. He’s currently leading the league in scoring and that’s astonishing when you consider who’s behind him in the scoring category and how often they use the three-point shot to score. His hot start has led to a 7-2 record for the Toronto Raptors who are tied for 2nd in the Eastern Conference.
I love this production from DeMar because it proves that you don’t have to be a great three-point shooter to be successful in this league. The mid-range game is missed in this era and its slowly dying with the retirement of Kobe Bryant and the aging careers of Carmelo Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki. The style of DeMar DeRozan is one of a kind today that mirrors what used to be admired back in the 90s and 2000s. It’s fun to watch and I’m interested to see if he can sustain this production and efficiency throughout the rest of the season.