After a hot start to the season, San Antonio Spurs swingman DeMar DeRozan has hit a rough patch. Here’s why he’s fallen off from his dark horse MVP candidate pace.
The San Antonio Spurs have continued to play well during the month of January, but they’ve done so without any major contributions from DeMar DeRozan.
The four-time All-Star can’t get his shot to go in in 2019 as he’s shooting 39% from the floor this month, his free throw percentage has also dipped to 72.7%, and his true shooting percentage is sitting at 43%.
After averaging over 20 points per game in each of the first three months of the season, DeRozan is scoring just 15.3 points per night in January and his plus-minus is -2.9 this month despite the Spurs’ 6-4 record during that stretch.
Here are three reasons why DeRozan has struggled as we pass the midway point of the season and how he can turn around and return to his All-NBA form.
Next: Not getting to the free throw line
Not getting to the free throw line
One of the staples of DeMar DeRozan’s game over the years has been his ability to get to the free throw line early and often.
Shooting a lot of free throws at a high percentage allows him to score efficiently despite not having any kind of three-point shot.
However, this year DeRozan is only scoring 22.2% of his points at the free throw line which is a career-low number for the two-time All-NBA performer.
DeMar has only attempted 3.7 free throws per game during the month of January, and he has normally shot 7-8 attempts per game during the most successful years of his career in Toronto.
Getting to the line more often will allow DeRozan to get into a rhythm by getting some easy buckets to build his confidence back up.
Next: Failing to capitalize on turnovers
Failing to capitalize on turnovers
DeRozan hasn’t become known as a fast break scorer during his career, but getting those buckets in transition has always been an important part of his game.
Last year in Toronto DeMar was scoring 3.6 points per game off of turnovers, but that number is down to 2.4 points per night this season.
DeRozan is difficult to stop in transition with his long strides and ability to finish through contact with either hand. Getting him more fast break opportunities will allow those scoring numbers to get over 20 points per game again real soon.
DeMar’s defense could be key to a revival on offense if he’s able to create more turnovers and get the ball going the other way more often.
If he can do that, we can expect those shooting numbers to rise quickly.
Next: Too many Turnovers
Too many Turnovers
More from Air Alamo
- Devin Vassell is the latest in the Spurs’ collection of silent assassins
- San Antonio Spurs: 5 Players to avoid in any LaMarcus Aldridge deal
- Is Gregg Popovich hiding Luka Samanic as a secret weapon?
- San Antonio Spurs News: More DeRozan trade talk from Chris Haynes
- Spurs fans show Dejounte Murray support, buy all the New Balance shoes
DeMar DeRozan‘s turnover rate is at it’s highest since the 2014-15 campaign at 9%.
Turnovers have been a major problem for DeRozan during the month of January. He’s already turned the ball over 34 times in 9 games this month (3.8 per game) compared to 31 turnovers during the 16 games (1.9 per game) played in December.
DeMar has turned the ball over 4 or more times in five of his last six games, and that is too many sloppy possessions for the primary ball-handler on this team.
DeRozan looks like he is simply trying to do too much to bust out of this midseason slump. It is a cliche, but DeMar needs to do a better job of letting the game come to him and not forcing it if he wants to return to that early season form.
Want your voice heard? Join the Air Alamo team!
These are pretty simple fixes for DeRozan, who has performed well in all of these categories before. Let’s see if he can make the necessary adjustments to bounce back for the second half of the season.