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Last season the Toronto Raptors had an interesting beginning to their season. They began with a 13-4 record in the first month of the season and raced out to a quick start in the Atlantic division. Many thought that after making the playoffs in the 2013-2014 season the team was on its way to becoming a contender in the Eastern Conference. Disaster struck however when their all-star guard Demar Derozan went down with a groin injury that sidelined him for a little over a month. The team struggled in his absence.


For the Raptors to have a successful season they will need a healthy and focused Derozan. He is the longest tenured Raptor and he is the heart of their team. Derozan has a good skill set at the shooting guard position. At 6’7 he has good size for the position and has a  good midrange game. He gets most of his scoring from the midrange, shooting about 30% with 60% of his scoring output coming on 2 point field goals overall. Derozan also likes to the attack the basket which he why he is one of the league leaders in points from the free-throw line. This off-season Derozan  stated that he worked on his 3-point shooting. With the small ball trend in the NBA this will be important moving forward. Last season he shot 28.4% from behind the arc.

Derozan was an all-star in 2014 and also has international experience as a member of the Team USA World Championship squad in 2014. Derozan is on the cusp of becoming one of the elite players in the league. If he improves his overall efficiency this status will not be hard to obtain, he already has the attributes and athletic ability. His forays to the rim remind the Raptor fans of Vince Carter and the way he attacked the rim.


Derozan is entering his 6th year in the NBA and looks to lead the Raptors to some more success during the postseason. Last season was somewhat of a disappointment as they have lost in the first round of the postseason for the past two seasons. In the 2014-2015 playoffs the Raptors lost their first round match-up with the Washington Wizards 0-4 and left many asking questions about the team’s future and Derozan’s in particular.


Derozan has played with the Raptors for his entire career thus far, at the end of this season he will be able to opt out of his current deal and become a free agent next summer. Derozan has been avoiding this topic but he will have to eventually discuss it.


He played in only 60 games last season and with Derozan off the court and in street clothes the Raptors struggled. This season with new additions to the roster, Derozan and his backcourt partner Kyle Lowry,  hope to rebound from a disappointing end to their 2014-2015 season.

Twitter: sherman@shermangmz1


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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