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Old 12-14-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/...tar-potential/

Quote:
TORONTO — At this point, the hope that Andrea Bargnani would be the face of the Toronto Raptors franchise has faded away.

The first-overall draft pick in 2006, the tie to the city’s European influence, the versatile offensive game: Bargnani seemed like a perfect candidate for the job. While he might develop into a more well-rounded player — all-star status is still obtainable, if unlikely, at this point — he will not be the Raptors’ focal point, at least from a marketing perspective.

So DeMar DeRozan is next in line. He possesses jaw-dropping athleticism, an unassuming personality and, most importantly, endless potential.

“He’s a mature young man,” centre Jamaal Magloire said. “I think everybody’s goal and dream is to become the best player they can be. If that comes with being the face of this franchise, then those are the cards he’s been dealt.”

DeRozan seems like the best in-house candidate. He is just 21, and averaged nearly 20 points per game in 26 games after the all-star break last year. He started to rebound a little bit more, his free-throw percentage shot went up and the Raptors started to depend on him a bit more in key situations.

His first task for his third year in the league is obvious, and it fits with head coach Dwane Casey’s team-wide mantra: “Now he’s got to turn that foot speed and quickness around and use it on the [defensive] end,” Casey said.

“But he really has the ability to score. What we’d like to do is post him up some. Like Andrea, we want to move him around and put him on different positions on the floor to take advantage of his athleticism.”

DeRozan averaged 17.2 points per game last year despite a fairly limited repertoire. In his second full season, DeRozan was an average to below-average dribbler and passer. He was not very good at creating offence for himself. And he had a non-existent three-point shot.

So how did he score? He became something of a young Richard Hamilton, coming off screens to take advantage of an increasingly reliable mid-range jumper. His athleticism also put him on the free-throw line, where he hit 88% of his shots from the all-star break on.

It is what he has not done that makes his potential so appetizing.

“He’s been working on his threes,” Casey said. DeRozan has hit just 13% of his 68 career three-point attempts. “He’s got the

green light to take them in the right situation. He’s been working on them. I don’t know if that’s his strength yet. But he’s really been working hard at them and knocking them down in practice. The test will be knocking them down when the popcorn’s popping.”

“I’m way more comfortable with it,” DeRozan said.

That covers production. But being a star in this city has long been about more than that.

Chris Bosh put up dependable, all-star worthy statistics in Toronto for seven years, but was only at times demonstrative. Some pointed to Bosh’s occasional quietness for holding him back in the hearts and minds of Toronto fans. And the shy DeRozan makes Bosh look like a professional wrestler trying to enliven a crowd.

There is, however, nobody standing in the way of DeRozan trying to put his stamp on this team. The Raptors have brought in talkative veterans like Jamaal Magloire and Anthony Carter to help him along in the leadership department, but eventually that responsibility has to fall to a team’s best player. Right now, DeRozan is that, or near enough.

“When I first came in, I just wanted to sit back and listen to all of the older guys,” DeRozan said. “In my second year, I still sat back and listened to everybody. As time goes on and you get the understanding, you get more comfortable by speaking louder and voicing your opinion.”

Wins will have a lot to do with fans in the city embracing him, too. DeRozan muttered, “Playoffs. Playoffs. Simple as that,” when asked what his goal for the season would be. It is a lofty one for a team lacking much pedigree, but it is the attitude the team’s players have to, and should, take.

DeRozan said he does not feel pressure to represent the franchise, only to improve. It is exactly what you would expect him to say, even if it might not reflect reality.

“It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s a good pressure,” Casey said. “As a 21-year-old, it should be the best pressure you can have. You have to embrace it and not let it be a burden to you.”
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

17 PPG last season with a very limited repetoir, plenty of room to grow. Sounds promising.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

At least by the sounds of it, I like what Dwane Casey is saying about improving his D, and also about having him post up and trying him at different positions on the court. Perhaps a new coach who demands more out of him is just what he needs.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

I'm excited to see his growth in year 3. Considering what he became at the end of last year, and what he was at the beginning of his rookie year.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

This is very encouraging to read. Can't wait for this season to start. If he's going to be our star, we still need better players around him.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

Excellent article. Can't wait to see how he fairs out this year under Casey's system.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

i've been saying it for a while now, at USC Demar was used a lot in post up situations. It is something he is very comfortable at this stage in his development especially considering his midrange shot is his most reliable offensive weapon

he has great form on his shot and I am not against him taking more threes as long as he doesn't fall in love with that shot
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

^^ love your avy. my fave raptor of all time.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

Quote:
Originally Posted by bokes15
^^ love your avy. my fave raptor of all time.

thanks man.

tragic end to his career but classy move by the raptors to keep him in the organization
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgz
thanks man.

tragic end to his career but classy move by the raptors to keep him in the organization
wasn't the best pg in the league by any stretch but that one guy had more heart than all of our entire current roster combined. he was a quiet leader, but a hard nosed, passionate guy on the court. i'm also glad they brought him back.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

I've been watching this game since the 3rd quarter, and while his skillset looks pretty similar, his confidence looks significantly higher than it was last year. I'm guessing due to Duane Casey deciding that he's gonna be a 1a or 1b guy down the stretch of games. He's had a brilliant 4th quarter.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

Quote:
Originally Posted by bokes15
I've been watching this game since the 3rd quarter, and while his skillset looks pretty similar, his confidence looks significantly higher than it was last year. I'm guessing due to Duane Casey deciding that he's gonna be a 1a or 1b guy down the stretch of games. He's had a brilliant 4th quarter.
Two straight games he's had a real good fourth quarter.. he just needs to do it all game long.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrison_Barnes
Two straight games he's had a real good fourth quarter.. he just needs to do it all game long.

i feel he's kinda lost within the new system

in the 4th, even Casey said it himself, they are looking for him to give him the ball i think that's why he's always bigtime in the 4th
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgz
i feel he's kinda lost within the new system

in the 4th, even Casey said it himself, they are looking for him to give him the ball i think that's why he's always bigtime in the 4th

Thats exactly what I'm thinking too. In the first 3 quarters it seems like he's just waiting for something to happen, but when the fourth comes and they are actually feeding him the ball he comes up big.

They need to start posting him up throughout the game, and not just looking for him in the 4th.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: Preview on DeMar DeRozan: Star Potential

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrison_Barnes
Thats exactly what I'm thinking too. In the first 3 quarters it seems like he's just waiting for something to happen, but when the fourth comes and they are actually feeding him the ball he comes up big.

They need to start posting him up throughout the game, and not just looking for him in the 4th.

i feel the same way

limit his three point looks early, get him some easy ones first

best way to do that is in the post, Casey has even said he will be getting him in the post more often throughout the game, it just hasnt happened yet
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