AT&T CENTER – In Sunday’s 131-118 San Antonio Spurs victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan finished with a new season high 36 points, along with eight rebounds, and six assists.
At halftime, DeRozan looked like he was struggling, as he walked off the court with 10 points on nine shot attempts. In the second half, however, he took over, as he scored 26 points on 18 shot attempts. There was a period in the third quarter where he scored 15 consecutive points for the Spurs and he ended up scoring 18 of their final 20 points in the third.
“That’s why he’s been an All-Star for so long,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich of DeRozan’s second half turnaround performance. “He’s very confident, he knows what he can do.”
Along with the scoring outburst, DeRozan also accounted for six of the Spurs’ 29 assists. Portland continued to send double teams his way and for DeRozan, he welcomes the opportunity to break down a defense when they send an extra defender and leave one of his teammates open.
“I don’t mind being double teamed, especially in the post,” said DeRozan.
Entering Sunday’s game, DeRozan was assisting on 28.4% of the Spurs’ made baskets, placing him in the 100th percentile (elite) among wings according to CleaningTheGlass.com. Other players in the 100th percentile are Nikola Jokic, Ben Simmons, and Russell Westbrook, to give you an idea of DeRozan’s passing ability.
There’s also the eight rebounds, with seven of them coming on the defensive end of the floor. Prior to Sunday’s game, DeRozan was collecting 13.7% of the opponents missed shots, placing him in the 84th percentile in defensive rebounding percentage among wing players according to CleaningTheGlass.com. That’s a really good placement for a player, very close to elite in rebounding.
When you plug in the filters ‘great than 20 points, greater than 5 rebounds, and greater than 5 assists,’ only seven players get listed this season.
DeRozan is currently putting up some of the numbers that are in the company of four former MVP winners. It’s barely early December, so a lot can change between now and February. However, based on how he’s playing, DeRozan could have shot at being selected for the All-Star team.
Now, the other part of the criteria for making All-Star and All-NBA teams is winning. Currently, of the players listed above, DeRozan and Harden’s teams aren’t in the playoff picture. This is where DeRozan and his team will have to try to turn their season around to get back in that conversation. Luckily for DeRozan and the Spurs, they’re only one game back from the 8th seed out West and 4.5 games back from the 1st seed with 72% of their season left to be played.