DeMar DeRozan has been making a big impression on the NBA this season and nothing illustrates this point better than when a beat writer from the Raptors division rival Celtics starts comparing him to the master of the midrange Kobe Bryant.
In a rambling weekend piece well worth the read covering the 76ers, Raptors, George Karl and more, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes,
DeRozan is averaging a career-best 28.2 points per game in shooting 47.4 percent from the field. The All-Star has mastered his midrange game, something many of his peers have not.
Another standout scorer who excelled at the midrange game was Kobe Bryant. He was the master of the 2-point shot, which were created by brilliant footwork that allowed him space to score.
“[DeRozan] was a student of Kobe, watching Kobe growing up. His footwork, he emulated him. I know a few years ago we got some tapes of Kobe in his iso situations, so yes, that has a lot to do with his production and his efficiency,” (Raptors head coach) Casey said.
“He’s not getting sped up by the defense, double teams don’t bother him anymore. He can make good decisions out of double teams.”
DeRozan’s play does look different this year. He is doing the same things, he’s just doing them better (career best 55.6 TS%), more often (career high 21.4 shots per game) and with more confidence (28.2 points per game is almost 10 points above his career average).
Featured image courtesy of Larry Millson