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Old 12-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
jeffb
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Raptors CBS Sports: Derozan a smarter player

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This season, there's been no explosion. DeRozan is averaging just .7 more points per 36 minutes. He has a PER of 15.3, right around the average for a player. He's not rebounding significantly more than he has at any point in his career or dishing more assists. (Advanced stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.)

But watching DeRozan play, you notice a lot of differences. And when you take that information and then look closely in-between the data, you start to understand what's happened with DeRozan this year.

He's become more confident, more disciplined, more settled. He plays more within himself and in more versatile ways. He's a more complete player, and that's helped his minutes increase to 37 minutes a game. He's playing like he did when he was a 20 year-old rookie playing limited minutes, but now he's the player Dwane Casey counts on for long stretches.

Against Denver, DeRozan finished with the kind of efficiency that's becoming the norm for him. 18 points on 13 shots, with 7 rebounds and 2 assists. He had a late steal which, had the Raptors not inexplicably (sensing a theme?) bumbled it, may have been the difference. The work is there.

I've never been a believer in DeRozan, but this year you can see the difference. He's not breaking out, but he's moving his way slowly towards taking that leap, and that starts with what's going on upstairs.
The InBounds: DeMar DeRozan's progress measured in mental miles - CBSSports.com
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