DeMar DeRozan, already a three-time All-Star, has fully bought into the Raptors new offensive philosophy this year and raised his game up with it. He’s setting teammates up with passes more than he ever has before. Also, last season 71 percent of his shots were from the midrange, with just 7 percent from three, but this season that’s down to 61 percent from the midrange, and 13 percent now from three.
And he can hit those threes — he hit four from above the arc against the Bucks (5-of-9 total from three) on his way to dropping 52 points on the Bucks in a big win for the Raptors Monday night. That is a Raptors franchise record for points in a game.
DeRozan had 21 points in the first quarter, and as the Bucks adjusted their defense to focus on him, he switched into a playmaker mode and set up teammates. When they needed him, he started racking up buckets again. He also played respectable defense on the Greek Freak all night long.
DeRozan is not in the upper tier of the MVP conversation (which may just be LeBron James now with James Harden out for a few weeks) but when thinking about who could get down-ballot slots DeRozan needs to be considered.