DeMar DeRozan has been one of the most consistent performing guards in the league for over a decade now. The Bulls star’s game relies very much upon going to the free-throw line, and it hasn’t changed after the change in some rules.
Chicago Bulls are going strong this season. Nobody is expecting them to win the championship, but the players believe in themselves. Such has been the off-season for the Bulls, they have a packed lineup on the offensive side of the floor.
At the center of the court, they’ve got Nikola Vucevic, the two-time All-Star who on his hay day can sink teams on his own, and then they’ve got the backcourt of Lonzo Ball, the face of their franchise- Zach LaVine and a four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan.
All of them are playing meaningful basketball for the first time in a while. They are contesting for a top spot in the Eastern Conference standings and they would surely need DeMar DeRozan to be big this season if they want to be of any significance.
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DeRozan has been an exception in the league for the type of basketball he plays, without a 3-point game has a career average of more than 20. The question is, how to do that in this era right? Where even Centers have a perimeter game, like his teammate Vucevic himself.
The Bulls star doesn’t believe in flopping but one of the greatest coaches in NBA urged him to start
Well, DeMar has a strong mid-range game, some say it’s Kobesque. To go along with that the guy obviously goes to the rim a lot and creates a contact on the way up. The 6’6 guard averages more than 7 free-throw attempts a game and makes more than 83% of them.
So he gets at least 5-6 points a game off of free throws on an average night. But that was supposed to change this season as the league leader in free throw attempts is struggling to get free throws this season after rule changes. James Harden is averaging 3 attempts a game while DeRozan has upped his average to 7.5 a game. And he thinks it is because he never flopped to get free throws, that’s why the rule changes do not affect his game.
After their win over his ex-team Toronto Raptors, DeRozan talked about their early success. In response to why his free throws remain the same but the league has dropped, he said “I don’t know… I don’t flop.”
DeRozan also opened up about how his ex-coach Gregg Popovic would suggest him to flop when his free-throws attempts came down to 5 a game during his first season with the Spurs.
He said: “You know what’s crazy, when I was in San Antonio, Pop pulled me to the side one year and he told me I need to start flopping or try to flop. Because I wasn’t getting calls that I should get cause I absorb so much of the contact. I don’t know, I just… I should play football.”
Surprising from Pop, isn’t it?
The Raptors fan favorite DeRozan is looking comfortable in Chicago and is averaging 22.5 a game without flopping. He has helped the Bulls win 4 straight games to start their 2021-22 campaign, the last time it happened they won the NBA title in 1997.