Written by Duncan Lambert (@bigdaddylambert)
Is DeMar really the greatest regular season Raptor of all-time?
First of all, I personally have nothing but astonishing levels of respect for Demar Derozan as a human being. He has done incredible things for both his hometown of Compton, California and for mental health awareness for NBA players. In fact, when you type Demar Derozan into Google search the first suggestion is: “Demar Derozan depression” and his impact on increasing mental health awareness will be more important than his career on the court. He is without a shred of a doubt the greatest player to ever put on a Raptors uniform. But with that being said he’s been sub-par to say the least in his playoff career. Nevertheless he has embraced the city of Toronto like no other pro athlete before him and has played a major role in pushing the Raptors franchise to unseen heights and helped made basketball cool across Canada. (Without him does Drizzy become an ambassador?! Scary thought indeed.)
Maybe that’s why as Raptors fans we’ve let him get away with the steaming piles of feces he has produced in the playoffs. I am currently typing this while watching game two of the eastern conference semi-finals against the Cavs. Demar just got pinned against the glass by Kevin Love. Oh, you need me to repeat that because it sounded a little off? DEMAR DEROZAN JUST HAD HIS LAYUP PINNED AGAINST THE GLASS BY KEVIN “BANANA REPUBLIC” LOVE. Not only should this not happen ever, but it really shouldn’t happen when the Cavs are on a 9-2 run and the Raptors are 1-4 from the field in the first 4 minutes of the third quarter. Do you know what else shouldn’t happen? The Raptors missing their last 12 shots of the fourth quarter in game 1. And no I won’t repeat that, even though it’s rather tough to comprehend as well. After the 10th miss how do you, Demar, as a four-time all star who constantly complains about being left off lists of the league’s best players, not say “Gimme the fuckin’ ball, get outta the fuckin’ way”? That is what a great playoff performer would do. You did not do that. You did not even attempt to take possible game winning shots. That was left up to Fred VanVleet.
Look, I have loved Freddy ever since his time at Wichita State but c’mon how are the Raps relying on him to toss up game winners at the end of regulation and overtime…..in the playoffs? Has he been a very consistent shooter this season with multiple clutch performances? Yes. Ok, so I’ll rephrase: how are the Raps relying on a second year, undrafted player who has played very limited minutes in the games he’s even been available for so far in the players and is still complaining about high levels of shoulder discomfort after games? I have a decent theory: Derozan is the greatest Raptor in REGULAR SEASON history and until he proves it in the playoffs (and I mean really proves it, instead of winning two meaningless games in the conference finals two years ago) that is all he will ever be, and he’s starting to realize it.
Not only has Demar begun to realize this but he has already began to prepare for the Raptors’ shortcomings in the playoffs. He has been rather outspoken on how the Raptors do not have anyone to go head-to-head with Lebron. Just by saying that, Derozan has already lost. One of the biggest criticisms to Lebron is how guys can get in his head. Someone might want to tell Demar to quit kissing ass and start pullin up in his face before talkin some shit.
This isn’t about his stats; this isn’t about “just watch the games” (S/O KD) this is about the Raps being down 2-0 to a Cleveland team that barely escaped a first round upset by the Pacers and has a historically bad defense. Speaking of bad defense this article will approach 5000 words if I start on that side of Demar’s game. However, after taking care of the ball was a major issue for Demar in the Wizards series he’s been better with that in the first two games of this series. There, that’s my one compliment, take it or leave it. And for those who believe the blame should equally be put on Lowry, you are wrong. Kyle has been aggressive and consistent while being solid on defense and controlling the pace of play well. Lowry is not, and should not be, held to the same standard as Demar.
Finally, as I watch Lebron hit contested mid-range fade away after contested mid-range fade away in the fourth quarter I can’t help but think it would sure be a pleasant surprise if the Raptor who usually excels in that area, showed up in Cleveland on Saturday night.
Duncan the Intern just finished his third year at Bishop’s University where he literally only shoots threes for the varsity men’s basketball (seriously you can look it up). He firmly believes that the ‘85-‘86 Celtics are the greatest NBA team of all team and that Elon Musk is a real life super villain. Blog boy for life.