DeMar DeRozan made NBA history on Monday night, becoming the first player in league history to tally 10 straight games scoring 30 or more points. The guard’s average of 35-point per game is a career high and his second 25-game streak this season after he scored 24.
DeMar DeRozan is a NBA superstar, but that’s not all he has going for him. He just became the only player in history to have three straight games with at least 40 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 56% from the field.DeMar DeRozan is playing like a modern Michael Jordan for the Bulls as he joins MJ in the history books. The Toronto Raptors shooting guard has been on fire this season, averaging 32.9 points per game and leading his team to a 17-4 record so far. Read more in detail here: demar derozan.
When DeMar DeRozan was a kid growing up in Compton, he loved Kobe Bryant. Because he could only see Los Angeles Lakers games on television, he modeled his game after Bryant’s. While the current Chicago Bulls swingman’s scoring prowess would make Bean happy, DeRozan is also playing like another former Bulls great, Michael Jordan, who once dominated the NBA.
With a spectacular effort against his hometown Lakers on Nov. 15, DeRozan sealed his spot beside Jordan in Bulls history. It’s only appropriate, considering DeRozan’s slicing, midrange-heavy style is a throwback to an age when three-point shooters were the norm.
DeMar DeRozan became the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan to record 35 points on 65 percent shooting in back-to-back games.
DeMar DeRozan is at ease when he is playing on his home court.
During the Bulls’ trip to Los Angeles, which started on Nov. 14 against a Clippers club that had been on a seven-game winning run, the former USC product dominated. DeRozan put an end to it with 35 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc. As the surface of the Staples Center changed colors, he maintained his velocity.
Just one day later, DeRozan scored a game-high 38 points on 15-of-23 shooting against the Lakers. Since Michael Jordan in November 1991, he became the first Bulls player to score 35 points and shoot at least 65 percent from the field. Jordan scored a total of 86 points in the two games, which were both uncommon defeats for the 1991-92 Bulls.
It’s not the first time DeRozan’s name has been next to Jordan’s. He and Zach LaVine joined Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen as the only Bulls teammates to score at least 20 points in seven straight games.
DeRozan’s first season in Chicago has gone off without a hitch. He’s assisting the Bulls in their victory and, in the process, he’s looking a lot like Mike.
DeRozan’s offensive game reminds me a lot of Jordan’s.
The NBA’s current age places a premium on perimeter shooting. DeRozan, on the other hand, does not believe in today’s reliance on the three-point line. Instead, he, like Jordan, depends largely on a mix of midrange shots and persistent rim-attacking.
DeRozan is shooting 53.3 percent from 10-16 feet through 14 games. He connects on 42% of his midrange attempts. That may not seem to be the most powerful mark, but defining “midrange” may be difficult.
Here’s the catch: it’s this feature that makes him resemble Jordan. DeRozan is hitting 56.5 percent of his pull-up jumpers, according to NBA.com. That number is now exceptional, and it conjures up images of Michael Jordan dribbling to his spots and leaping over defenders.
Take a peek at the video below. Despite his lack of NBA experience, DeRozan assaults Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker, who is a problem for ball-handlers due to his physical stature and length. Because Alex Caruso’s ball-screen is unsuccessful, the Bulls swingman is forced to go it alone. How does he make room? By entering the lane and throwing a half-spin before launching a fadeaway. That reminds me a lot of Jordan.
The parallel goes much farther. DeRozan, like Jordan, often drives to the hoop and finishes through contact or gets to the free-throw line. Unlike James Harden and others, the 32-year-old hasn’t witnessed a drop in free-throw attempts since the new foul regulations were implemented. He really led the NBA in free throws and was second in free-throw attempts as of Nov. 16.
DeRozan dominates by getting to his positions and scoring effectively off pull-up, midrange shots while also slicing to the hoop and drawing whistles in a season when opponents are averaging more three-pointers than ever.
Defining certain parameters
Left to Right: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images and Focus on Sport/Getty Images | DeMar DeRozan (L) and Michael Jordan (R) |
Now is the time to evaluate DeRozan’s distinctions from his predecessor.
Because of his efficiency working out of the post, Michael Jordan developed a unique fadeaway game later in his Bulls tenure. DeRozan will go to the block with the ball, but he is better at isolating or working horizontally with the dribble than with his back to the hoop.
It’s also worth mentioning the staff. Alongside Zach LaVine, DeRozan has the benefit of playing with another exceptional scorer and shot creator. He also has the benefit of playing alongside Lonzo Ball, a fantastic playmaker and transition weapon who made his own statement during the Lakers victory.
Jordan never had to share the field with another pure scorer. He had to hold the ball a lot, which is why he had the greatest usage rate in NBA history. During MJ’s time in Chicago, the team didn’t have many playmaking guards, instead relying on Pippen as a point forward. Furthermore, His Airness was a much greater defender than DeRozan.
Despite the variances, the commonalities are unmistakable. The comparison would be meaningless if Chicago was losing. However, DeMar DeRozan’s vintage style and contributions to the team’s success highlight the parallels between him and Michael Jordan.
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.
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