DeMar DeRozan is having a great season and currently has the Toronto Raptors sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference. Even though his points per game have been down from last year, this is only due to him taking three fewer shots per game. With that, he has been passing the ball much more than previous seasons, averaging a career high in assists (5.2 per game). The major knock on DeRozan has been his inconsistency in the postseason. Now, with the Raptors having probably their best roster since DeMar has been in Toronto, can he produce in the playoffs?
Time and time again Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have shown an inability to compete consistently in the playoffs. This may be their last chance prove to the NBA that they are not just a regular season team. With their improved bench, this is clearly the best team in the Lowry/DeRozan era, so it is pretty much NBA Finals or bust for the Raptors. With that being said, Toronto’s depth this season should be able to help them tremendously throughout the playoffs. Having 11 players that play hard every night and you know you can count on is something very few teams in the NBA have. Although they have a lot of young players in the rotation they will not be counted on heavily in the playoffs, allowing them to play with the same energy. DeMar DeRozan for sure has more help this season, but can he get over his own playoff jitters?
In the past, DeRozan has put up quite a few sub-par playoff games. He has struggled in at least one game in every playoff series he has played in the past four seasons. History says that DeRozan will have a few bad games this post-season too unless he has really matured. His game seems to have evolved this year, playing less isolation basketball and facilitating more of the offense as well. Getting his teammates involved has not been a strong suit of his previously. This improvement will most definitely help DeRozan if he has an off shooting night, so he can still be effective for his team. With that being said history tends to repeat itself so it would be safe to assume DeRozan will struggle at least a bit this coming post-season.
Currently, the Toronto Raptors are the first seed in the East and if they can continue to play the way they are, they have a good chance to win the Conference. It just does not seem likely that they can keep this play up for three rounds of playoff basketball. This is DeRozan’s last chance to prove to the NBA that he is a superstar and the Raptors will need just that to succeed this post-season. DeMar DeRozan is a great player, but he has a chance to show everyone how good he really is come playoff time.