The newest member of the San Antonio Spurs balled out in the first month of the season leading them to a 5-2 record.
The future of the San Antonio Spurs’ franchise was in doubt when Kawhi Leonard requested a trade this offseason.
Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford planned on building their team around Kawhi after moving on from the era of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, but they were forced to pivot when Leonard became unhappy with the organization.
Fortunately the Spurs were able to make a solid deal with the Raptors and get an All-NBA player, Jakob Poeltl, and a first round pick in exchange for Kawhi and Danny Green.
DeMar DeRozan came into this season with some extra motivation after he felt betrayed by the franchise he committed to just a couple of years ago.
DeRozan has used that motivation to turn in one of the best months of his career to kick off this season.
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The four-time All-Star has dropped 27.9 points per night in the first seven games (fifth in the NBA), and he’s filled out the entire stat sheet with 7.3 assists (seventh in the NBA), 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.
He has also been extremely efficient on his high usage in the Spurs’ offense.
DeRozan has the second-highest usage percentage of his career, but he has career-highs in true shooting percentage (58.7%) and player efficiency rating (26.0). Those numbers are even more incredible considering he’s only made 27.3% of his three-point attempts this season.
He’s carried a heavy load this year leading the league in minutes per game and putting up 20.9 shots per night. DeRozan has been the unquestioned MVP on a 5-2 Spurs squad that has the third-best record in the West.
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With all of the injuries at the guard position, the Spurs have had to count on DeRozan to create almost everything on offense and he’s delivered in a major way. Some of the role players have stepped up and LaMarcus Aldridge has been doing a lot of the dirty work inside, but DeRozan deserves a majority of the credit for San Antonio’s hot start.
I have a feeling DeMar DeRozan will win a few more of these awards this season as he continues to show that he’s one of the league’s premier players.