Apr 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots over Boston Celtics center Fab Melo (13) during the fourth quarter at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Celtics 114-90. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Reason for Grade: Best season as a Raptor
Season Highlight: Highest PPG and best 3 point percentage in his career
Best Game: April 14th in a win vs. Brooklyn – DeMar made 9-9 free throws, 3-4 three pointers and had a line of 12-22 from the field for 36 points.
Needs improvement in: DD’s 28.3% 3-point shooting is unacceptable for a shooting guard. Only Tony Allen and Dwayne Wade had worse 3 point percentages as starting shooting guards this year and neither of them attempted 100 3-pointers throughout the season. In fact to take that thought a step further, only 5 other players who attempted 100 3′s this year shot a worse 3-point percentage at ANY position on the court in the entire NBA!
DEFENSE – there is a reason I wrote that in capitals, as this season I saw DeMar beaten off the bounce by slowpokes like Mike Dunleavy, Ray Allen, and others who are usually not very effective off the dribble.
In summary: There is a saying that NBA big men take about 4-5 years to truly develop into the player they are going to be as a pro. We have a problem here folks; DeMar is a guard, and they are developed within 2 years with the odd player needing a 3rd year to blossom into the player they will be for years to come. From that perspective, DeMar is “behind”, however he’s only 23 years old, so we shouldn’t assume he’s reached his ceiling. The best I see from DeMar is a poor man’s Rip Hamilton in that they are most effective shooting mid-range jump shots just inside the 3 point line and neither one have developed a very good three point shot. I said poor man’s Rip Hamilton because I believe Rip has a better 3 point stroke and a better shooting percentage than DeRozan and Demar does not have nearly the defensive skill of Hamilton. We are still waiting to see if DeMar is capable of reaching the potential that was seen in him when he was drafted.
Next season’s outlook: DeMar has a LOT to work on this summer, from his terrible 3-point shooting, his defensive pressure and on-ball defense, as well as overall consistency. DeMar is a hard worker and hopefully is spending the summer in the gym with Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry. Improving the chemistry they were developing by season’s end can only help the Raps’ record. If Demar can improve his 3-point percentage to around 33% or higher and get better defensively this off-season, we may see him emerge as a force in ’13-’14.
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