The shooting guard, who previously played for the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs, is creating the best basketball of his NBA career, averaging 26.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists a game.
For comparison, his previous career averages were 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists.
DeRozan is leading his team to a slew of impressive victories and they’re now second in the Eastern Conference with a fantastic 19-10 record.
For the first time in years, the Bulls actually have a chance at the Eastern Conference Finals and that’s largely due to DeRozan.
What has gotten into him and why is playing so darn well in the Windy City?
2. The Entire Team Is On Fire
It’s important to note that DeRozan isn’t the only person who is red hot in Chicago.
He’s leading the team but he’s being supported by a squad that is one of the best in the league.
Zach LaVine is averaging 26 points a game and is shooting 39 percent from the three-point line.
Lonzo Ball has hit a stride and is putting up 13 points a game along with five assists.
Alex Caruso is making his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, shake their heads as he makes eight points a game with an average of two steals a game – the most in the league.
Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan hug it out after the win against the Nuggets!
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) November 20, 2021
The entire Bulls roster is playing to the best of their abilities: they’re fast, they’re smart, they’re scoring from all over the court and they’re playing awesome defense too.
This is a combination of players that just works and it has given DeRozan a squad he can finally rely on.
DeRozan had to carry his previous teams far too often.
And while he’s still the best player on his current team, he is able to turn to his teammates with confidence and that is making his game all the better too.
1. He Has Something To Prove
DeRozan has been written off throughout his career.
During his time in Toronto, he was never given the proper respect he deserved and was never really thought of as one of the best players in the league, consistently overlooked for other players in the league.
DeRozan has always felt he was better than people made him out to be.
That was even more true when he went to San Antonio, where people were starting to say he was washed up and not his former self, even though he was creating 22 points a game at one point.
But because the team he was playing for was subpar, people started to think the same of DeRozan.
He was written off again when his preferred team, the Lakers, decided against trading for him and instead signed Russell Westbrook.
“I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home. The business side of things just didn’t work out. A couple of things didn’t align. It didn’t work out.”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 16, 2021
To DeRozan, this was just another example of being undervalued – and it gave him something to prove.
That’s one of the main reasons why he has come out of the gate swinging so hard now that he’s in Chicago – he wants the world to remember just how great a performer he really is.
And, sure enough, he is now being talked about as one of the best players in the league and is an official MVP contender.
DeRozan wanted respect on his name and he got it.