Entering his fifth season with the Toronto Raptors, it is time for Demar DeRozan to become an All-Star.
His rookie and sophomore seasons provided the solid foundation DeRozan needed to fulfill his potential like most thought he would do. But a lockout infected third season saw the native of California’s game regress more than any expert or coach could have imagined.
In the shortened 2011-12 season, DeRozan’s numbers stagnated, his confidence went and was ultimately a no-show for a dismal Raptors side.
Last season, however, DeRozan showed tremendous courage and poise to improve his game in many areas. Not only did his points per game increase from a year before, but it was his all-around improvement with regards to rebounds and assists that impressed everyone the most.
That brings us to the present day. This season DeRozan will have Rudy Gay by his side to share some of the pressure that DeRozan has received over the past two years.
Gay himself is entering a crucial stage in his career, which will provide a platform for the pair to perform and share both the success and failure of the 2013-14 season.
DeRozan will look to reach 20 points a contest, as well as increase his distribution and production on the glass. Being part of a Dwane Casey side means that he will have to improve his defense too. Only then can he start to think about that elusive first All-Star appearance.
Having been drafted seventh overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, a spot on the league’s best team was surely always a must in the career of DeRozan. If he and Gay can combine and complement each other, then Toronto may well have themselves not just one All-Star, but two. This will mark the first time the franchise has had an All-Star since Chris Bosh back in 2010.