5 Things That DeMar DeRozan Can Do To Become a Superstar for the Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and have a lot of good players. This season DeMar will have more help, and should see more open opportunities.
His athleticism is undeniable, and he has a very good-looking mid-range jump shot. DeRozan has a great attitude toward the game, and has undoubtedly been working hard in the offseason.
Let's see if he can take his game to the next level, and make his first All-Star appearance in 2011.
Improve His Finishing Around the Rim
DeMar DeRozan has been good around the rim, and has a great burst in the lane off of the dribble. He finishes a good number of his drives, but will need to be better.
Good players get to the rim and finish most of the time; great players finish all the time. Allen Iverson was probably the best finisher I've ever seen at the rim. If DeRozan could get even near that level, he would be a 25-point-per-game scorer easily.
DeMar has great acrobatic layups; improving them would elevate his game substantially.
Lock Down on Defense
New Raptors head coach Dwayne Casey is definitely the man to turn DeRozan into a top-flight defender.
Physical attributes are probably the most important thing for a great defender to have. DeRozan is athletically one of the most explosive guards in the NBA.
If he can work on his feet and get quicker at limiting penetration, he will be able to be more active in passing lanes. A guy that fast is dangerous on the fast break. Getting more chances to run in transition will create opportunities that could result in two-to-four points per game more on average.
I can't wait to see how DeRozan's defense will look after this offseason.
Draw More Fouls
DeMar is a very solid free-throw shooter.
This is another stat that he has been able to improve greatly since his rookie year. In his first season he shot .763 from the line. Last year he got that number up to .813. That is a very large improvement, and fans should look for him to get even better this season.
All of the great NBA scorers get to the line a lot, and make their opponents pay for mistakes. DeRozan shouldn't be any different.
He has never been timid, but he needs to try and get more contact this season. Even three or four more attempts per game would increase his scoring average by a couple points, surely bringing him over the 20-points-per-game threshold.
NBA refs do have favoritism though. Super stars get many more calls in their favor than average and good players. DeRozan has been given the short end of the stick for the majority of his time in the NBA. This year he needs to break through, and start getting the advantage on questionable calls.
Develop His Three-Point Shooting
If DeRozan is to be a top scorer in the NBA, he needs to stretch the floor more. Having a solid three-point shot is key to be able to get into the lane with consistency.
Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose have showed the NBA that it is possible for subpar shooters to develop a smooth touch from beyond the arc.
DeRozan isn't a terrible three-point shooter, and could become a great player if he can work on his range more. He works hard, so I am sure that he's put time into his jumper.
If he can come out in 2011 (or 2012 if the lockout persists) being able to shoot a deep jumper, he will be a very tough cover.
Become the Man
The great players all have a great demeanor.
Kobe has an undeniable amount of confidence in his game, and Jordan did too. Kevin Durant is the next big star who has an extremely high amount of confidence in his shot and his game.
These players all want the ball in their hands when the game is on the line. They know if their team is going to win, it has to be them to make the big shot.
DeMar DeRozan has to realize that he's the man on the 'Raps, and demand the ball in late-game situations. He can't pass up scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter.
He has to take charge, and let everyone know that it's his basketball game to lose.
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