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NBA Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors Player Profile 2013: DeMar DeRozan

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Is it possible that Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is the most disrespected 15 point career scorer to come into the league in the past five years? You might think that if scoring was the only factor taken into consideration, but for shooting guards, the game is much more than a chuck-and-duck mindset.

DeRozan started off  with a respectable rookie average of  eight points and three assists per game in 21 minutes of playing time. The following season, he would more than double that average to 17 points per game in providing scoring to a Raptors squad that was in desperate need of it with the departure of Chris Bosh to sunny Miami. Last season, DeRozan averaged 18 points per game. Though his scoring average has gone up at a steady clip, his rebounding and assists numbers (3.5 boards and 1.8 assists career averages) are average to below average when one considers that he has been playing at least 35 minutes per game since his second season. |

Also, DeRozan’s three point stroke is inconsistent at best — an embarrassing handicap at worse. His steal numbers are low as well, considering his length and quickness. Now that DeRozan will team up with SF Rudy Gay this season, one would expect him to get the ball to Gay whenever possible, and vice verse as well. The duo will make up one of the most explosive wing tandems in the league next season and have all the tools to bring the Lob City mantra north of the border.

Even though DeRozan is only averaging 1.8 assists per game for his career, he should be able to at least throw a lob. It’s quite easy to do actually, especially when you’re throwing it to an NBA athlete with the wingspan and hands of Gay. The chemistry of Gay and DeRozan on the fast break and in the locker room are imperative for the Raptors if they are to make any noise in the steadily strengthening Eastern Conference.

Ricardo A. Hazell is a freelance sports writer with Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google Plus.