2 Reasons Why DeMar DeRozan is the NBA’s 24th-Best Player
To kickoff the 2017-18 NBA season, I updated my “CurrentRANK Top 25 NBA Players” rankings. You can access the full list here. To expand upon them, I am publishing a series of #PlayerPyramid articles. Starting at the “bottom of the pyramid”, I will give 1 reason why ‘Player A’ is the 25-best NBA player. Then I will give 2 reasons why ‘Player B’ is the 24th-best NBA player. This inverse trend continues all the way to the “top of the pyramid”, where I will provide 25 reasons why ‘Player Y’ is the #1-ranked NBA player.
24th-Best NBA Player: DeMar DeRozan
- Reason #1: Age 27. That’s typically the time in a player’s career when he makes “the leap” into stardom. DeMar certainly did so in 2016-17, turning 27 years old and in the process posting his career-best season. The Raptors’ star increased his scoring by nearly 4 points per game. DeRozan’s 27.3 PPG average was good for 5th among the league leaders. He made significant leaps in other key measures, such as:
DeRozan's Season Stat Improvements: 2017 vs 2016
That was the first year of his hypothetical “prime” career years. Turning 28 years old and building off of last season’s results should lead to a career year for one of the league’s best scorers.
- Reason #2: DeMar posted better playoff stats last season! Granted, his performance was nothing to write home about. However, the results were a marginal improvement over DeRozan’s checkered playoff past. Toronto did not advance as far as in the year prior, but DeMar at least showed some signs of improvement. Perhaps he can turn things around in 2018 and produce more consistently next time around. See below for his statistical improvement from the 2016 to 2017 postseasons:
DeRozan's Playoff Stat Improvements: 2017 vs 2016
The next article in #PlayerPyramid will give 3 reasons for Mike Conley being the 23rd-best player in the NBA.
The prior article in #PlayerPyramid provided 1 reason for Gordon Hayward being the 25th-best player in the NBA.
Let me know your thoughts on the series via comment below, or on Twitter @NBAStatsLab.