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November 24, 2020

DeMar DeRozan story as a midrange master

DeMar DeRozan is an All NBA talent in his last 11 games. Scoring 20+ points and shoots 50% from the field. He did this shooting less than 1 three-pointer per game. Attacking the lane and mid-range pull is his specialty of the house. DeRozan leads the league on makes and attempts. He averaged 22 points per game leading the Spurs.

When he’s young he told Tom Osborn of ExpressNews that his father brings VHS tapes at home. DeRozan’s father loves basketball.

“I didn’t have cable growing up, so I used to watch all old-school games my dad had on VHS tapes,” the 30-year-old Spurs forward said. “A lot of kids playing these days probably haven’t seen VHS tapes.”

It was in the 1990s and 2000s that midrange is the bread and butter to put points in the bucket. The likes of Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor, Bernard King, and Alex English his four favorites.

“My dad used to show me all the All-Star Games from the ’70s and ’80s,” DeRozan recalled. “Even in the ’80s, all those guys were shooting elbow jump shots in the All-Star games. It was always intriguing to me. You look at some of the greatest scorers in the history of basketball, they were two-point shooters.

“That’s what I grew up on. That’s what I loved. That was the game of basketball to me.”

Although sometimes this season he made multiple threes. It’s DeRozan’s willingness to expand his game if necessary. As he added he only played the game he watches. That was a classic basketball using the midrange.

“It was the only thing I used to watch,” he said. “I used to be intrigued how they were never really athletic or fast or would jump high, but they could always get a bucket when they needed to.”

This is the best basketball he had since the Toronto Raptors trade him to San Antonio Spurs. He’s been fantastic on his second season as a Spur. DeRozan attempted 16 attempts per game the lowest since 2011. But he is really efficient with the shoe selection he made.

“When I was young, I thought if you shot 30 or 35 times you had a great game no matter what the outcome was, whether you were 6 for 35 or 20 for 35. Now it’s chasing great shots, understanding how you’re going to be played, reading the defense, taking what they give you instead of trying to force things.”

Because of his improvement as a playmaker, he leads the team in assists with five per game.

“It’s constantly working on the game, looking at the mistakes you make the previous games, trying to analyze what you can do better, the shots you can take better, how you can be more creative getting to the line and getting to the basket,” he said of trying to continue to grow as a player. “Just constantly finding out different ways to play well. That’s just me being a fan and loving the game so much.”

The Spurs are 6-5 on these run of DeRozan half-game away as the ninth seed. Spurs are eyeing for their 23rd straight playoff appearance.

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