Puts Analyst ‘Difference Maker’ Before LeBron James

LeBron James


Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James #6 reacts during the second half of their NBA game against the Toronto Raptors

The Chicago Bulls have done a lot more this season than just claiming their first playoff spot since 2017. They’ve brought the city and themselves back into the spotlight. With that comes recognition from their peers and the basketball world at large.

At that point, released the All-NBA picks that some of their writers will be making on April 14, and the results should bring smiles to Bulls fans.

This is a good time to mention this is not an official vote, just a writer will vote for.

The five-person executive board includes Steve Aschburner, Shaun Powell, Mark Medina, John Schuhmannand Michael C. Wright. They all have Bulls striker DeMar DeRozan on one of their All-NBA teams and that’s where things get interesting.

DeRozan’s Big Year

None of the “electors” had DeRozan as the first team pick. The Bulls’ late-season outburst has almost certainly made this less of a discussion about whether DeRozan should be in the first or second team rather than second or third.

He has established a career high of 27.9 points per game over 35.2% from a three-point range this year. 50.4% from the floor and 87.7% from the free throw are his second best.

Aschburner knows what DeRozan means for the franchise and the city.

“DeMar DeRozan’s side is lackluster but his 13th season, at 32, has changed the culture in Chicago”

DeRozan spoke with ESPN’s Jamal Collier in January about his journey and how his previous stints in San Antonio and Toronto shaped him. But maybe what he said during practice week will make Aschburner come home.

DeRozan knows the Bulls are in the middle of a rock and a tough place with defensive champions on deck. They lost to them 0-4 in the regular season. He still openly accepts the challenge.

Crown the Man

Aschburner was one of four writers to put DeRozan on the NBA’s All-NBA Second Team. Naturally, that meant kind words weren’t taken and DeRozan got even more love from Powell, who added some extra context to get DeRozan into the second team.

“DeMar DeRozan overtaking LeBron James for the 2nd team title might have led some to make a double, but DeRozan, who has averaged just 3 points less than LeBron (and played 20 more games), is the one making the difference. difference for the Bulls play-off round . ”

James, 37, has missed the last five of the Los Angeles Lakers, eight of their last 10, and has appeared in just 56 games this season as he and the entire team battle through numerous injuries.

He finished the season 0.3 points, 0.3 points behind Philadelphia 76ers champion Joel Embiid.

The 32-year-old DeRozan has missed just six games all season. As Powell pointed out, DeRozan doesn’t go far beyond James’ scoring rate and, more importantly, is a “difference maker” for a team that makes it to the knockout stages. This index from Aschburner further illustrates Powell’s view.

“LeBron James’ individual results are remarkable but irrelevant. For example, he scored more than 30 points 34 times; The Lakers went 16-18. “

The Bulls took a 19-9 lead when DeRozan scored at least 30 points in a game this season, according to Stat Muse.

A consistent theme

DeRozan’s career year was a direct factor in Wright’s influence. He gave a nod to the incredible seasons that both James and Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant have had. But he also admits that they simply missed out on too many games to claim a spot against more enduring stars of comparable output.

“Despite James and Durant’s incredible 2021-22 campaigns, the superstars have sat out a total of 53 games. Meanwhile, the players who came before them have had years in their careers, especially 32-year-old DeRozan, who finished with the highest average goalscoring record in 13 seasons. ”

James averaged 61.9% on real shots with 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. Durant won 29.9 points, 7.4 pounds and 6.4 assists on 63.4% of the right shot for the Nets, who claimed the seventh seed in the East by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 12. 4.

They will face second-seeded Boston Celtics in a series that begins at 3:30 p.m. EST, just before the Bulls’ 6:30 p.m. EST kickoff on April 17.

Medina was the only one to get DeRozan into the all-NBA third team, but he still admits the heavy lifting that a one-time MVP candidate had to do.

“…Even if James deserves credit for coming in second in points (30.3), he missed too many games (26) while the Lakers couldn’t even make it to the Play-In Tournament. DeRozan, Siakam, Towns, and Young all played winning basketball while keeping their teams contested for playoffs as low-seeded or Play-In contenders. ”

This will be the third time DeRozan has been named to an All-NBA team having served as a second team in 2018 and a member of a third in 2017. Again, however, this is not a vote. officially announced later in post-production.

It shows that at least some people in the NBA world still feel that readiness is the most important ability. Puts Analyst ‘Difference Maker’ Before LeBron James

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