February 11, 2018, 4:02 pm
DeMar DeRozan sat the entire fourth quarter in Sunday’s blowout win but still had a great game with 25 points (10-of-19 shooting), eight assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer.
That’s pretty good work for 29 minutes and DeRozan and the Raptors responded nicely to an early timeout in this one. They trailed 10-0 to start but got a good verbal shakedown and wound up leading this one by 37 in the fourth. DeRozan’s growth has been one of the team’s biggest storylines this season and he’s made some terrific strides as a playmaker. He’s no longer hesitant to make the extra pass and has often found himself on the right end of very favorable mismatches as a result of extra movement. A far more patient player than he once was, DeRozan is racking up lots of easy assists by simply hitting the roll man against scrambling defenses. It’s a simple thing that’s unlocked the next level for both team and player, and the fact that he’s willingly stepping into 3-pointers doesn’t hurt either. DeRozan is headed to another early-round finish.