With all the superstar talent in the NBA, it is easy to understand how you could look past the quiet dominance of DeMar DeRozan.
The ordinarily quiet Compton, California, native usually lets his athleticism do the talking, and that’s especially evident this season. DeRozan led the Bulls to a comeback victory over the LA Clippers on Sunday.
DeMar DeRozan’s hot zones looking like pic.twitter.com/qYWOxXiKjU
— Ross Pins (FKA AKFC) (@chisportsross) November 15, 2021
On Friday, he notched a season-high 35 points leading the come-from-behind victory from a 26-point loss to the Golden State Warriors. The win meant even more playing at home since DeRozan’s father had passed from a long illness in February.
It was DeRozan’s first time playing in Los Angeles since his father’s death, and he honored him immensely with a showtime-level performance on home soil.
Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan are the highest scoring duo in the league.
Professional bucket getters 🔥 pic.twitter.com/4SZfOWChFb
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) November 15, 2021
“Every time I came home, it was always an honor,” said DeRozan at the post-game press conference. “This is my first time coming home to play since my dad passed. And he was at every game. He didn’t miss any games. [Sunday] was one of those games that, you know, I wish he was here.”
A Star Is Cultivated
DeRozan is averaging 26.1 points per game, more than his career average of 20.2 points this season. However, his stats are up across the board in total rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and three-point percentage.
DeRozan stopped a threatening fourth-quarter Clipper rally by landing four pivotal shots that cinched the win. LA was on a seven-game winning streak now broken, which is a testament to DeRozan since the game proved that a win was not guaranteed.
DeMar DeRozan just posted this edit of him and LaVine on his IG
Kings of the Fourth 👑 pic.twitter.com/yyXHKskwFW
— Barstool Chicago (@barstoolchicago) November 9, 2021
At the same time, the shooting God in Steph Curry, who has dominated the early MVP conversation, took an “L” in his Charlotte homecoming. However, although Curry has the highlight reel shots from deep, DeRozan has surpassed Curry in field-goal percentage for the season.
One can’t look at DeRozan without pointing out Zach LaVine’s contributions. The two are a duo that is reminiscent of a Curry to Klay Thompson, and he dropped 29 points to DeRozan’s Clippers’ flex.
"I couldn’t be more happier being here in Chicago, honestly." -DeMar DeRozan pic.twitter.com/wNPxhW21fO
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 15, 2021
The two combined for 64 points, and, according to ESPN Stats & Research, the performance matched their highest combined total this season. For the third time, the two have combined to score at least 60 points in a game, making not only DeRozan a primary threat but the duo a formidable force.
Ironically, DeRozan almost became one of the newest superstars to bolster the new house that LeBron James has built.
Almost A Laker
On a segment of “Chips” with Draymond Green, DeRozan revealed that he was almost a Los Angeles Laker when the 2021-22 season commenced.
“It was a real possibility. I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t want to come home. I did try to make it happen. Just, things didn’t work out. But you know, Chicago was always in my top 5, it was always on my radar,” said DeRozan.
The Windy City, which has been looking for the magic it held for so long, has found a winning combination with DeRozan and LaVine. However, every team needs the spark, and DeRozan’s star, muted in San Antonio and overshadowed by the championship-winning Kawhi Leonard trade to Toronto, is now evident in the Land of Lincoln.