It’s got to be peak-Raptors for the team to both mathematically reach the number one spot in the East and get gassed up by the NBA’s press, only to disappoint upon arrival. I don’t mean to open on such a down note here, but I also want to insist that I’m not mad, I’m actually laughing.
And, oh yeah, DeMar DeRozan is the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for December 18th to Christmas Day. Not bad, even if, hahaha, DeRozan just got finished playing one of his worst games of the season, a 3-of-16 clunker during which he was somehow outplayed by the ghost of Wesley Matthews (and J.J. Barea???). I was stuffing my face at a Boxing Day dinner and didn’t get the report the news last afternoon.
Argh, I hate this and I wish I could have written this post yesterday afternoon when we were all still flying high. Anyway, the news must get through. In a fun twist of fate, DeRozan plays against the West’s Player of the Week, Russell Westbrook, tonight.
This is the seventh time DeRozan has won these honours, and the second time he’s done it this season. (If you recall, he claimed the title back in mid-November.)
For the week, the Raptors went 3-0, with a cruising win over Charlotte, and two rollicking victories over the reeling Sixers. During that span, DeRozan averaged 34.0 points per game (good for third in the league), 3.3 assists, and 4.5 rebounds. He also shot 57 percent from the field (wowza), and 65 percent from three (double wowza). There’s also the detail of DeRozan hanging 45, a career-best mark, on the Sixers while in Philadelphia.
Let’s take the long view here and forget about last night’s performance, which I’ve already groused about here and here, and remember the fun and good times instead. DeRozan is having the best season of his career so far — he’s scoring efficiently, expanding his range, moving the ball, and even playing better defense at times. Is there a ceiling to DeMar’s game? Sometimes it seems like the answer is no, there is not.