Saturday, January 15, 2011

Raptors Lose Again, Has DeMar DeRozan Become A 'Star' Player?

This morning I was reading the Globe and Mail sports section as I often do, when I came across this line "Sophomore shooting guard DeMar DeRozan struggled, finishing with just 15 points on 6 for 11 shooting."
DeMar DeRozan could very well be a
great player in the future, just be patient

Has it really come to this? Is it really a disappointment when DeMar DeRozan fails to top 20 points? DDR's FG% of 55 last night ecliped his season mark by a rather wide margin, he only made 2 turnovers, and contributed 5 rebounds. Sure, he's been red-hot this month, but I remember a time not too long ago when games like these were considering encouraging. 

DeRozan is certainly a polarizing case in Toronto Raptors basketball right now; most fans consider him to be the face of the franchise. But is this heavy distinction only a product of the laughable state of the Raptors? The best of the worst, if you will? Dedicated readers of BTTN would know that I recently wrote an article about why the Toronto Raptors should tank and finally put to bed the sentiment that the current team has a chance at the playoffs and beyond.

When considering PER (Player Efficiency Rating, all stats by ESPN), DeRozan is the 189th best player in the league and according to EWA (Estimated Wins Added), is 1.6 wins better than replacement level. While these stats don't put more emphasis on DeRozan's recent successes, it's hard to believe that he'd fair much better as DeMar is far from a complete player. He's an explosive driver, that's it.

Comparisons to Vince Carter are largely unfounded, Carter is a career .375 player from downtown and is a solid passer. DeMar DeRozan is 2-22 from three in 2010-11 and only contributes 1.7 APG. Granted, assists are a very flawed qualitative statistic, but it's hard to make an argument promoting DeRozan as a competent distributer. He's not.

The bottom line is, DeMar DeRozan has tons of work to do before you should consider him a 'star' (or even 'good' for that matter) player. He needs to vastly improve his shot, and create opportunities for his teammates much more often. 

Meanwhile, us media personnel need to calm down and let this take its course. The Toronto Raptors acknowledged when they drafted DeMar DeRozan that he would be a long-term project similar to Andrea Bargnani. It's not all about the garbage-time points he provides now, it's about him becoming a complete player in the future, which will take time.

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