Playing the game of basketball seems to be a highly complicated game. I mean there are so many different ways a player can be effective while he's out on the court. Rebounding, defence, hustle, leadership, passing, and scoring are all good ways a player can separate themselves from the pack. However with this statistical turn, more and more fans are using stats as a means to justify a players ability to play the game of basketball when in truth, stats cannot tell the whole story.
Just like any sport, evolution is bound to take place. The game of basketball is still a fairly new game that I'm 100 percent positive will completely change over the next 200-300 years. As an example the game of soccer has completely changed since its original inception. These changes take place because fans change them, whether or not they should take place doesn't matter because the game is for the fans. Basketball is taking a similar turn, except for the worse.
The main problem is see with this, is that a lot basketball fans are just basketball fans and they don't know how to play the actual game. Basketball is unlike any other sport because it evolves around those playing it. The game played by 15 year old's is a lot different then the game played by grown men. This isn't because of maturity, its because of skill level. I'd rather not focus on my own basketball skills but tell you that the game massively changes when you play with players that are skilled.
Now Demar Derozan is a highly skilled player, Andrea Bargnani is not and never has been. This will never make sense to fans of the game so for you posters who have never played college level basketball I don't expect you to understand what I am talking about. However for those who have, you'll know exactly what I am talking about.
Demar Derozan is highly skilled because there isn't much he can't do on the court agains't the highest competition. I don't care how many shots it takes him to score and I'll tell you why. Lets take YOU(the reader) and have you switch places with Mr. Derozan. Each and every night that YOU(the reader) and your overweight, out of shape self step out on the court and the opposing team's BEST defensive player is guarding you and the other 4 defenders have all game planned to just stop YOU. Now I guarantee, you will not score, not even a point. Why? why can't you score on Aaron Affalo and the crappy Magic? Its because your out of shape, can't shoot, no range, can't dribble. Is that your fault? No of course not! You don't practice. When Demar scores 20 points effortlessly without even getting to the line what would you say? That he still can't shoot? That he can't dribble? That he has no range? It's impossible, in order to score 20 points per game while the other team's defensive focus and best player is on you, you HAVE to be good. The only true statement a fan can make of Derozans game is his mentality, because otherwise there isn't anything he is truly underachieving in.
Have you ever gone to your local Y and played? Although you were superior in intelligence you still got lit up by your local "chucker"? He still hit fadeaway jumpers to your left, to your right, then right in your face? But he's still a chucker right? I mean just cause he can make one shot every now and then doesn't mean he's better then you right? If he's hitting those shots on you it means he's quicker, faster, more explosive, and just plain BETTER. If you were quicker, faster and more explosive he wouldn't be able to get those shots off at all but because he's THAT much better then you it looks easy.
Each year Derozan gets better and better. I care not for stats but what he can do on the court when evaluating his future. The man came into the league a boy. In Demars first year he couldn't even get the jumper off, he wasn't as quick, wasn't as fast and wasn't better then anyone he played. He had the dribbling of a high schooler and the defence of one as well. Year 2 he promised he would work hard and he came back with an improved jumper and developed a couple moves to beat the best defensive players at the rim. Year 3 He became the go to player when it was obvious his skills were still catching up to that role but despite every team in the league game planing to stop him he still managed to succeed. For a third year guard to put up 17 a night despite being guarded by the best defenders in the nba, is pretty good regardless of shot attempts. In his fourth year, he developed a post game which is already on par or superior to any of the greats guards who first came out with their own post game.
The reason I believe Demar is worth EVERY penny and more, is this undeniable fact:
Demar has improved more than any other player in the NBA since coming to the league(in terms of pure basketball skill)
The opposing coach regarding demars game:
Year 1-"He can't shoot, or dribble, he sucks he can pretty much just dunk"
Year 2-"Not bad, he is pretty lethal in the lane and can get to the line but that jumper is still laughable"
Year 3-"We need somebody to guard this kid now, he can score every time down the court if we aren't active"
Year 4-"God damn, he can hit the midrange, posterize our biggest men and post on our best defender, I thought this kid was a scrub 3 years ago?!"
Year 5-" Your telling me raptors fans want this guy gone for nothing? they think every year he's getting WORSE? They think every year he isn't adding something extra to his game? They forget that every year NBA coaches are adding more schemes to cover Demar? They probably think they can land someone like Demar in free agency...after all which free agents aren't already racing to come to Toronto"
If you've ever played the game of basketball you'll know how hard it is to continuously improve every year. To end this fan post off I'll discuss a player I played with on my own university team. This guy came from Africa and couldn't hit a layup to save his life. He loved basketball though and continued training everyday while all my teammates left and partied. Now, the kid can hit jumpers left and right, he can dribble, he can finish with his left hand and you can't leave him open. Demar Derozan is just like this kid, he works on his game so much and any real player(NOT FAN) but any real player knows with that kind of work ethic the sky is the limit.
Here is some Doc Rivers on Demar pretty much stating the same thing I did.
I don’t think people notice him — not because they are in Toronto, but because of their record,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I think people are sleeping on him a lot. I think he adds stuff every year. Early on, he was basically a kamikaze driver — that’s what we labeled him as, early on. Now he gets to the line. He makes jump shots. He defends. He’s a total basketball player.”
“Everyone’s different,” Rivers said. “(Kevin) Durant picked it up pretty quickly. The greats ones do, some of the guys that have a chance to be really good — it just takes them time and patience. The mental toughness of that is hard. A lot of guys give in, give up and settle. A lot of guys keep driving. What I like about him, and I don’t know him at all, but it just seems like from afar, he must put a lot of time in the summer on his game, because each year, he’s gotten not just a little better, but a lot better in areas that you would have to work on. So I think that’s impressive.”