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DeMar DeRozan Out to Prove He Isn't 'Washed'

Bulls' forward DeMar DeRozan is showing just how valuable he is after being doubted for the last few years.
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DeMar DeRozan Bulls

Photo: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

Chicago Bulls' forward DeMar DeRozan is here to prove the naysayers wrong. After his second straight 30-point performance (fifth on the season), DeRozan shared his motivation with reporters.

Through 14 games in the 2021-22 NBA season, DeRozan leads the Bulls in scoring at 26.9 PPG. If the season were to end today, that's a career-high for the 13-year veteran out of USC. He is shooting a remarkable 51% from the field and a career-best 37% from downtown.

Per Game Table

SeasonAgeTmLgPosGGSMPFGFGAFG%3P3PA3P%2P2PA2P%eFG%FTFTAFT%ORBDRBTRBASTSTLBLKTOVPFPTS

2009-10

20

TOR

NBA

SG

77

65

21.6

3.3

6.6

.498

0.1

0.2

.250

3.3

6.4

.506

.502

1.9

2.5

.763

0.9

2.0

2.9

0.7

0.6

0.2

0.8

2.3

8.6

2010-11

21

TOR

NBA

SG

82

82

34.8

6.6

14.1

.467

0.1

0.6

.096

6.5

13.4

.485

.469

4.0

4.9

.813

0.9

2.9

3.8

1.8

1.0

0.4

1.8

2.6

17.2

2011-12

22

TOR

NBA

SG

63

63

35.0

6.0

14.3

.422

0.4

1.5

.261

5.7

12.9

.440

.435

4.3

5.3

.810

0.6

2.7

3.3

2.0

0.8

0.3

2.0

2.6

16.7

2012-13

23

TOR

NBA

SG

82

82

36.7

6.7

15.0

.445

0.4

1.5

.283

6.3

13.5

.463

.459

4.3

5.2

.831

0.6

3.3

3.9

2.5

0.9

0.3

1.8

2.1

18.1

2013-14

24

TOR

NBA

SG

79

79

38.2

7.6

17.8

.429

0.8

2.7

.305

6.8

15.2

.451

.452

6.6

8.0

.824

0.6

3.7

4.3

4.0

1.1

0.4

2.2

2.5

22.7

2014-15

25

TOR

NBA

SG

60

60

35.0

6.8

16.5

.413

0.4

1.5

.284

6.4

15.0

.426

.426

6.0

7.2

.832

0.7

3.9

4.6

3.5

1.2

0.2

2.3

2.0

20.1

2015-16

26

TOR

NBA

SG

78

78

35.9

7.9

17.7

.446

0.6

1.8

.338

7.3

15.9

.458

.463

7.1

8.4

.850

0.8

3.7

4.5

4.0

1.0

0.3

2.2

2.1

23.5

2016-17

27

TOR

NBA

SG

74

74

35.4

9.7

20.9

.467

0.4

1.7

.266

9.3

19.2

.484

.477

7.4

8.7

.842

0.9

4.3

5.2

3.9

1.1

0.2

2.4

1.8

27.3

2017-18

28

TOR

NBA

SG

80

80

33.9

8.1

17.7

.456

1.1

3.6

.310

7.0

14.1

.494

.488

5.8

7.0

.825

0.7

3.2

3.9

5.2

1.1

0.3

2.2

1.9

23.0

2018-19

29

SAS

NBA

SG

77

77

34.9

8.2

17.1

.481

0.1

0.6

.156

8.1

16.5

.492

.483

4.8

5.7

.830

0.7

5.3

6.0

6.2

1.1

0.5

2.6

2.3

21.2

2019-20

30

SAS

NBA

SF

68

68

34.1

8.2

15.4

.531

0.1

0.5

.257

8.1

14.9

.540

.535

5.6

6.6

.845

0.6

4.9

5.5

5.6

1.0

0.3

2.4

2.6

22.1

2020-21

31

SAS

NBA

PF

61

61

33.7

7.5

15.1

.495

0.3

1.2

.257

7.1

13.9

.515

.505

6.3

7.2

.880

0.7

3.6

4.2

6.9

0.9

0.2

2.0

2.1

21.6

2021-22

32

CHI

NBA

SF

14

14

35.3

9.6

18.8

.510

0.9

2.5

.371

8.6

16.3

.531

.534

6.9

7.9

.873

0.8

4.6

5.4

4.1

0.9

0.4

1.9

2.3

26.9

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Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/16/2021.

The veteran leadership DeRozan has provided this season has been monumental. The Bulls are playing with a grit and finesse fans have not been accustomed to in the last five years. To many, it could seem like a "honeymoon" phase, but it seems DeRozan is happy to be here and to be winning.

DeRozan's fit with the team was questioned by the national media. Several prominent outlets said he and Zach LaVine would not work together. Now, through 14 games, DeRozan and LaVine are both averaging over 25 PPG with no signs of slowing down. DeRozan is even on the "way too early" MVP ladder. That's what "hoopers" do. They adapt to the situation they're in and play to the best of their ability.

The Chicago Bulls are on the brink of something special in 2021. They're led by DeRozan and LaVine who have learned how to co-exist already. This team is full of talent, hunger, and fight to prove that they aren't a flash in the pan. DeRozan has been the most valuable player on the floor thus far leading the Bulls to their 10-4 record. The improvement is in the numbers, as it's only taken the Bulls 14 games to reach the 10-win mark.

As long as health stays on their side, this Bulls team will be trouble for opponents come playoff time. With LaVine and DeRozan gaining more repertoire on the court together, the improvements and wins will consistently come.