Back in 2016, CJ McCollum listed DeMar DeRozan as one of his “Elite Guards”. While handing the newest Bulls star some high praises, the Blazers star revealed how DeMar had a game similar to Kobe Bryant.
With the usage of the three-point line drastically gone up over the past decade, DeMar DeRozan is one of the stars in the league who still has and uses his incredible midrange game to the fullest. Apart from being an offensive gifted playmaker, DeRozan is also entrusted with the ability to lock down the opponent’s best player credits to his great defensive skillset.
Even though DeRozan’s game isn’t exactly the flashiest, he is still more than productive in his playing time. Portland swingman CJ McCollum is one of the many defenders who has tried, and failed, stopping DeMar from going on a rampage. Back in 2016, McCollum named the 4-time All-Star as one of the “Elite Guards” in his “The Players’ Tribune” article. CJ gave some huge praises to the then-Raptors guard.
“The midrange monster. One thing you’ll notice about DeMar is that he’s got a slight lean when he shoots his jumper. When you grow up in a place like Compton, you play a lot of “33” and “21,” where it’s one-on-one-on-everybody-at-the-park. At least that’s what I played growing up in Canton, Ohio. So you have to develop ways to get your shot off over double and triple teams.
Another way DeMar gets space is with his pump-fake jumper. He’s got a really nice pump fake — slow and exaggerated. That might sound like a bad thing, but with a pump fake, you want your movements to be realistic. If you pump too quick, and it looks nothing like your regular release, then it’s a dead giveaway.”
Apart from lauding DeMar DeRozan, CJ McCollum breaks down his game while comparing it to Kobe Bryant’s
After dishing out such huge praises, the Blazers star even broke down DeMar’s performances from the 2015-16 season, while even comparing his game to the Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s.
“Depending on the situation, you need to have different tempos for your pump fake, and DeMar is really good at that.
In the post, DeMar likes to utilize the spin move. Watch this.
He backs J.R. down, spins away to create space, and even though the help defender comes down to contest the shot, it’s already too late. Rise up. Bang. Cash out.
Now, who does that remind you of?
It looks a lot like Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant, doesn’t it? DeMar is from Compton. Who do you think he grew up watching over and over? In order to hit that kind of turnaround, you need excellent footwork and body control. Pay attention to DeMar’s feet in the clip above. He’s off-balance in the air, and he kicks out his right leg to help steer his body a little bit.
That’s a great move. But it’s just one bucket. In order to really understand his game, we need to see how this sets up his next trip down to the post. Once again, he’s backing J.R. down. Last time, he spun toward the baseline for the turnaround jumper. J.R.’s got that in the back of his mind. So now…
DeMar spins and takes it right to the cup. Kobe used to have five or six moves he could interchange in the post. If you only have one, it’s not enough. You need your go-to moves, but it’s crucial to have counter-moves to really keep the defense off balance.
The thing that separates DeMar is that he’s not just a jump shooter. He has a really nice touch around the basket, he can put the ball on the floor and finish in traffic with an array of shots in the paint.
He makes it all look smooth and effortless.”