The Toronto Raptors were victorious over the Utah Jazz tonight, as DeMar DeRozan continues to lead the way. The former ninth overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft was impressive once again, finishing the night with 23 points and four assists. Not only has DeRozan elevated his game so far in the 2013-14 season, but he has transformed the Raptors into a serious contender in the East.
Toronto is now 26-22 and in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division. The Raptors have been hot as of late, winning six of their last eight games. The team has rode DeRozan’s hot hand throughout the season, and will end up with the No .3 or 4 seed in the Eastern Conference if they continue to do so.
DeRozan is having a breakout year. In the past, the scouting report described the 6-foot-7 guard as a slasher with an average jump-shot. DeRozan now demands increased attention due to his ability to hit mid-range and three-point shots. After tonight, DeRozan is averaging 22 points, along with 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
There is a reason why DeMar DeRozan was voted on as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Stars this season. Not only is he putting up big numbers on a nightly basis, he is doing so at an efficient pace and keeping his teammates involved as well. This Toronto Raptors team has a high ceiling if DeRozan continues to improve his game. It will be interesting to see if the team can continue to ride DeRozan’s hot hand as they face off with the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.