Throughout the NBA playoffs, where we Raptor fans are left to wallow, Raptors Republic brings you the 100 Words Series. Calling on RR writers and other Raptor scribes from around the internet and MSM, we’ll provide the Republic with 100-word takes on players, coaches, management and announcers. Look for these two or three times a week, starting today with DeMar DeRozan and following up tomorrow with Kyle Lowry. The mission I charged the contributors with was simple: you have 100 words (prose, poetry, song, whatever) to discuss said player.

Andrew Thompson, Raptors Republic
There is going to be endless talk this summer and through training camp of DeMar working on his three point shot. That’s fair, because he doesn’t have one. I don’t care. What he must learn is how to see the court and find his teammates as defensives adjust to him. DeMar’s game is slashing to the hoop and bullying smaller guards on the block and in isolation. If he can find the open big or shooter camped in the weak-side corner when help defense rotates to him at the basket, he can be both productive and efficient, without the three.

Blake Murphy, Raptors Republic
I think I’d like DeMar DeRozan. I also think I’d like all the guys I cheer for to work like he works. While his career trajectory leaves some doubt as to his eventual upside, he has shown an ability to make incremental improvements each season. This year, his playmaking and post offense both got much better. This offseason’s area to work on is obvious – the long ball. DeRozan had a career best 28.3% rate from long range, and this team lacks outside threats and spacing in the half court. Get it done, DeMar, and you and Rudy Gay can co-exist.

J.M. Poulard, Raptors Republic
For one stretch during the regular season, DeRozan was the best player on the Raptors. Bargani was injured and Gay hadn’t yet joined the team. The face of the franchise was unquestionably the Raptors’ guard. Even towards the end of the regular season, DeRozan’s potential and his production seemed to intertwine. Can he lead the franchise into a new direction? Truthfully, recent evidence would suggest he cannot. Then again, perhaps his path is the one that matters most. After failing with Bargnani, the franchise might need to see if DeRozan can coexist with Gay and possibly even win a “battle” for undisputed best player status in the hierarchy of the Raptors.

Ryan McNeill, Hoops Addict
It’s tough to expect too much from any 23-year-old player, but DeRozan just finished his fourth NBA season and he still remains an enigma. The positives are he posted a career-high in minutes, scoring, rebounds and assists. Fan should be thrilled, right? Wrong. DeRozan’s shooting percentage were nothing short of a rollercoaster and he still hasn’t developed a consistent shot from the perimeter. Next season he needs to step it up on the defensive end while adding a consistent perimeter shot.

Sam Holako, Raptors Republic
Took a real leap forward this season after signing a massive contract in the summer. Showed maturity and a willingness to adapt to a new teammate (Rudy Gay) who occupies the same space on the floor. Net result: improved on his shooting, playmaking, trips to the line, true shooting, effective field goal percentage, and wins share after posting two-to-three straight seasons of decline in each of those categories. Hopefully he won’t be the price of unloading Bargnani in the offseason, which would be a bitter pill to swallow, but he’s the shooting guard this team needs.

Tim W, Raptors Republic
DeMar DeRozan is the perfect example of a good player on a bad team. He’s average or below average in advanced stats for shooting guards, except for Usage, Defensive Rebounding, NBA Efficiency, and Alternate Player Efficiency Rating. I simply don’t see how he can fit in on a good team. His below average defense is probably a bigger impediment than his lack of three point shooting and after four years it’s unlikely he’ll improve much. It’s too bad because he’s such a hard worker. You wish every player on your team would approach the game the way DeRozan does.

Zarar Siddiqi, Raptors Republic
An increase in TS%, eFG%, WS/48, FG%, and FT% speak to an improving shooter; what plagues him is his inability to contribute when covered by a locked-in defender, which is when the lack of dribble-drive gets exposed. That area that hasn’t seen much improvement since he came in the league and he’s at that age where he is what he is. Let’s see if Colangelo turns the premature extension into an asset, and flips him for someone that isn’t eerily similar to Gay. Right now we’re in danger of expecting things from DeRozan that he may not be ultimately capable of.

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  • raptorspoo

    Good… Now let’s trade him.

  • Bouncepass

    So, basically the commentators agree on very little with respect to DD.

    • Actually, it seems most of us basically agreed on DeRozan, but in only 100 words, we focused on different aspects.

  • Marz

    No one wrote a poem 🙁

    You should get Holly Mackenzie in on this. She’s always insightful.

    • raptors phdsteve

      no worries Marz- Im going to write a haiku for Lowry.

      • raptors phdsteve

        sorry I was too late to post this one- but here it is anyways:

        DeRozan Haiku:

        Continues to grow

        But still has yet to blossom

        To warrant ninth pick

        • Arsenalist

          Last 10 #9 picks – he’s doing OK by that standard.

          Mike Sweetney

          Andre Iguodala

          Ike Diogu

          Patrick O’Bryant

          Joakim Noah

          D.J. Augustin

          DeMar DeRozan

          Gordon Hayward

          Kemba Walker

          Andre Drummond

          • raptors phdsteve

            except when you consider all the players drafted after him in 2009:

            10 Brandon Jennings
            11 Terrence Williams
            12 Gerald Henderson
            13 Tyler Hansbrough
            17Jrue Holiday
            18 Ty Lawson
            19 Jeff Teague
            20 Eric Maynor
            21 Darren Collison
            26 Taj Gibson

            • raptors phdsteve

              and that doesnt even account for the 2nd round:

              37 DuJuan Blair
              39 Jonas Jerebko
              44 Chase Budinger
              46 Danny Green

            • I’m hard on DeRozan (as well as Colangelo), but the only players I would say is who you could say is significantly better than DeRozan that wouldn’t have been a major reach at 9 would have been Ty Lawson and Jrue Holiday (who had major question marks about whether he could play the 1).

    • smh

      Ah Holly. Isn’t she such a delight? She’s such a big fan of the game and culture.

  • Truth

    Derozan isn`t whats wrong with this team. He has improved over the course of the season and has shown the ability to mesh well with Rudy Gay.

    Sure he`s a weak defender, but that can be hidden when playing next to above average defenders like Lowry, Amir and Gay. Besides, the lack of talent at the SG position (hopefully) means he won`t be getting lit up to often .

    As long as Colangelo understands that Derozan is a good piece to the puzzle and not the answer, we should be good. But with BC you never know.

    • DeRozan isn’t what’s wrong with this team, but is DeRozn really good enough to warrant being “hidden” on defense? He’s a good, but not great scorer, and he’s not above average in any other area.

      • Truth

        No player warrants being hidden on defense, but Casey was brought in for his defensive philosophy. Personally, I haven`t seen this team play the type of defense it`s capable of consistently and Casey has to take responsibility for that.

        On a side note, I think we can get alot more out of Derozan in the rebounding category. I feel his focus is misplaced, he should be working on his decision making, defense and rebounding. There`s some untapped potential in those areas in my opinion

        • Truth

          And by `untapped` defense potential, I mean the ability to reach average SG status 😀

  • morgan c

    I understand DD may be what he is already – after all, he’s had 4 seasons. However, the other side of me thinks he’s only 23. Players improve and reach their peak usually around 26 or 27. I really do think, then, that it is totally reasonable to believe DD can and will improve. He can learn to be at least an average defender, and he can improve his shooting. Improving his ball-handling and court awareness may be tougher, but both of those can be done with experience. Basically, never count out a hard-worker. And he loves Toronto. As long as Jonas improves, and if we get consistent PG play, I think DD can thrive. Gay? Not so much.

    • The adage that players peak at 26 or 27 came around when players came into the league at 22, so it was in their 4 or 5th season in the NBA. I’m not saying that DeRozan has peaked, but after playing as many minutes over four years as he is, I don’t see him improving all that much.

      • Tee

        Years played in the nba is only one factor of a player improving. Strength and maturity are huge as a mans body gains natural strength around 26-30.
        For example, Amir, Dirk, Paul pierce, kg, Manu, tony Parker, Nash all played thier best ball in thier mid-to late 20s.

        • I already said that I don’t think DeRozan has peaked, but all those players, save Nash, who had injury problems, and Amir, who lacked playing time, were basically who they were after four years in the league. You rarely see any major improvements after a player has played 4 full years in the league averaging more than 30 mpg.

          • RaptorFan

            Honestly, the one issue i now have with RR is that I have to read your comments OVER & OVER & OVER again. OK – We get it!! You (Tim W.) don’t think DD will improve much….you said “after playing as many minutes over four years as he is, I don’t see him improving all that much”
            You think he’s below average in almost every category and you think he’s not a good shooter, rebounder, passer, etc. To you he’s basically useless. Thanks for your insight!

            Your not saying that he has peaked…..yet you don’t think he can improve much. Isn’t that saying that you think he pretty much HAS peaked?? Why not be BOLD and come out and say what really feeling?? You basically wrote that in each comment you replied to. Are you leaving room so that if he does get better next year, you can pretend like you know what the F your talking about?

            You sir = full of it. You spew the same stuff over and over like its going to eventually invade our common sense. How many shooting guards in this league are great defenders?? How many 23 year olds are great shooters or great scorers?? How many 23 year old shooting guards are great defenders while being good shooters, good passers, etc.??? You are speaking about a complete player that DOES NOT EXIST in the current NBA. Every player has flaws (some have many flaws).

            His mid-range game is top 3 IMO (at least top 10) in the NBA. He’s 17th in the league in scoring. Tied for 16th in the league in free throw attempts per game. 32nd in free throw percentage (83.1%). At 23 years old i can see him getting better. Thank god your opinions are just that….YOUR OPINIONS.

            As you were.

            • This is a warning to keep things civil. I get you don’t like my comments. But if you want to engage in conversation, I ask that you do it without taking it to a personal level. You make some good points, and if you want to reply again, without the insults, I’ll be happy to respond.

              • Roarque

                Smart way to deal with dudes like him. Good on you.

              • DumbassKicker

                You know something that gets me? Writers, and posters, on here don’t have a problem getting “personal” while ripping into players, coaches, management, even the damn broadcasters (all of whom can’t respond on here), but get all uppity when posters get in your faces.

                • Let me start out by saying I don’t like personal insults against anyone, but I’m sure you must understand the difference between personally insulting someone on the site directly and personally insulting a public figure who is most likely not reading the comment.

                  Let me say, though, that if any player, executive or broadcaster were to come on the site as a writer, commenter or guest, he would be afforded the niceties that everyone else has.

                • MelanieInTheMorn!

                  Its a goddamn blog stop taking to the heart foo

                • We’re trying to clean up the comments on this site, and create intelligent and mature conversation here. I, for one, stopped posting on here for quite a while because everything degenerated into insults. It was liked wondering into a playground for delinquent children. We’d like to get away from that.

            • jjdynomite

              Oooh, “mid-range” game. BFD. This isn’t the early-80s anymore.

            • Dan

              That small increase in his stats usually coincide with and small increase in minutes. It never seems to be his fg% that goes up. Would anyone here not switch out demar for JR smith if given the option. I really don’t see him as anything more then a more consistant nick young. Nick Young put up similar number when given the minutes in washington. Then washington and the teams he’s been on since realized he is a one dimensional scorer and best served coming off the bench if you want to win. Go look back at most of the top sg’s in the last 10 years. Wade, Kobe, Carter, Mcrady, Iverson. Now Harden that he is finally given the chance to be the #1 guy. They all were great players by 23. Go look at gay’s stats in his 4th year. Paul george already became an all star this year. Go look at Demars stats on How much has he really improved. His stats from this and and his 2nd year are almost identical except for 3 pt %. It’s just my opinion but I don’t see him as anything more then an average player at best. Shave 5 minutes of his playing time and level down his stats to match and you basically have gerald henderson. How many of you would line up to pay Gerald henderson 10 million a season and use him as your #1 guy. The NBA is a 2 way game and if your going to only play one way and be an impact player it will take more than 18 ppg on 44% shooting. Everyone keeps hoping Demar will reach his ceiling of monta ellis if he is lucky. Nobody wants Ellis as a number one guy and Demar is not talented enough to even reach that level.

  • I say we trade him straight up for a good 4 or trade him and then sign a 4 in free agency. We can put Landry in the 2 spot.

  • jjdynomite

    Fact: Shooting guards with no 3 point shot in today’s NBA are USELESS. That’s why a 90-year-old Ray Allen is still far more valuable than young bucks with minimal range like DeRozan, Gerald Henderson or Evan Turner. Almost all other stats are irrelevant to this position, period. Given that, I’d rather have an under-the-radar SG like Danny Green or (a healthy) Martell Webster on this team. Because they can actually hit 3s. It’s also why Ross has more upside. It’s also why DD’s premature big money contract was yet another Colangelo FAIL.

    • ben

      dwayne wade?

      • jjdynomite

        The rule still holds, as the Heat don’t need a traditional PG because Wade can facilitate, and then use the PG position to be a spot-up shooter like Chalmers. For a drive-and-kick PG like Lowry, DeRozan is simply a bad fit. And that means he’s a bad fit for most PGs in the league.

        And besides, did you watch tonight’s game, which obviously happened after my first post? Who got most of the SG minutes? And who hit 5 3s?

    • RobertArchibald

      Obviously a “90 year old” hall of famer is more valuable than average shooting guards. Ray Allen is one of the best shooters of all-time, a great decision maker, good ball handler and can still finish at the rim. He’s also been fairly fortunate to remain injury free probably due to his maintenance of his body. Players like him simply don’t come around that often. Unfair comparison in my opinion. A better comparison would be someone like Matt Bonner who is simply a spot-up 3 point shooter. Though he’s not a SG he relies on players with the skillset you’re describing to get him the ball while they attract the defence.

    • CHAMP

      @jjdynomite:disqus Yeah that’s also why Danny Green, Martell Webster and Terrence Ross can’t drive to the basketball to save their life, but yes 3 is all that matters young yoda. smh.

  • Buschfire

    No one mentioned one of Derozan’s main downfalls, I think he needs to work on his ball handling, a baby can dribble better than he can. His 2 main focuses this off season are to work on his outside shooting and his handles.

    • We only had 100 words. I was going to mention it but ran out of room.

  • Slick

    To many haters on derozan. He’s improved every year and will continue to improve. He’s someone that actually wants to be apart of toronto unlike most nba players. People say trade him. For what? For who? Then what put Ross or Landry fields. Give me a break. People say him and Rudy are similar and won’t gel. Well news flash they have been since Rudy came abroad

  • Slick

    Then there’s the he doesn’t shoot high percentage shots. Well take a look at all other high scoring guards in the nba. Tell me they shoot efficient. Except Lebron that is. Examples jr smith Carmelo Kobe. They shoot high percentages. Sure!!!! Derozan keep stepping up he’s still just 23 yrs old!!!!!!!!

    • Well, first of all, LeBron and Carmelo aren’t SGs, and both of them score efficiently, especially LeBron who is one of the most efficient scorers in the league.

      But let’s take a look at all the guards in the league who score at least 15 ppg, ranked by True Shooting Percentage, which is probably the best indication of offensive efficiency:

      DeRozan is 18th out of 26 and the company he’s in isn’t exactly the best.

      • DumbassKicker

        You start out by making a point of how Lebron and Melo aren’t SG’s, then provide a stat sheet that’s exactly half filled with PGs. Some SGs are combo guards, which isn’t DeMar. He fits the “wing” description and is far more a SF than a PG, yet you’re comparing stats (fk, I hate naked stats to support an opinion of players on different teams anyway,,,,, blind babble imo) in a list that is half PGs, who play a significantly different role on their teams. Talk about useless stat comparison!

        • You hate stats to support players on different teams? So what exactly would you SUGGEST we use? Stats, especially advanced stats, such as True Shooting Percentage, are really the only things we can use to compare players on different teams.

          If you didn’t like that link, there’s this link, comparing guards and forwards from 6’4-6’8…

          …in which he doesn’t fare well, or this link…

          …which is swingmen who played at least 30 mpg, and if you sort by TS%, he also doesn’t fare well.

          There’s really no way you can objectively look at DeRozan and try and claim he’s an efficient scorer, or even not below average.

          • DumbassKicker

            You rely so much on stats for your “analysis”, that it’s highly doubtful you’ll ever get the concept of stats with different teammates (and team responsibilities), different coaching, playing against different teams (ie. different times of the season, with different line-ups), blah, blah, blah….. makes comparing 2 players’ stats like comparing apples to watermelons.

            It boggles the mind that so many just don’t get it. Do you think DeMar’s stats might just be a little different if he played the season along side LeBron, Bosh, Ray Allen, etc. versus AAnderson/Pietrus, rookie JV, Fields? Or that Wade’s stats might be a little different with the Raps’ line-up? Apples to watermelons. What about Kobe? Do you think he might have different stats with the Raps versus playing with Pau, Dwight, Nash………? Apples to passion fruit.

            A person could write a book about how inane it is to compare stats of different players playing for different teams,,,,,,, all of it making perfect sense, but some either don’t get it,,,,, or have the need for stats to support their opinions, no matter how incomparable they may be.

            • You could take it a step further and say that you can’t compare stats of players on the same team because they all play different roles on the team. So there’s no point in using stats at all. They’re all meaningless. So to take that even a step further, there’s really no point in discussing basketball at all because all stats are useless and you can’t compare players or teams.

              Of course, the other way to look at it is that individual stats mean very little in a vacuum, but when you look at many different ones, especially advanced stats, which aren’t as influenced by the things you mentioned, and look at them in context, then you get a decent picture of a player.

              That’s what every team in the league does. If you feel they are all wrong, then by all means write to them and explain to them why all the stats they keep are useless.

              • DumbassKicker

                Stats themselves aren’t useless, but the way many “fans” use them is senseless/useless. Apparently you’ve got no response to my DeMar/Wade/Kobe questions above, other than some general hyperbolic rant about not being able to discuss basketball without your security blanket of numbers. It’s not accounting, man. It’s team sport.

                “That’s what every team in the league does. If you feel they are all wrong…”

                If you have inside information of how “every team in the league” uses stats like you do, I’m open to be enlightened. I do find this quote from Gregg Popovich (best coach in the NBA?) rather interesting:

                “That score at the end of the game is huge. I don’t think it’s ever been wrong. It’s proven to be the most consistent stat.” – Gregg Popovich on the value of advanced statistics.

                • I actually did respond. There’s a paragraph in my comment that you either missed or will dismiss for some reason, I’m guessing.

                  You seem to want to dismiss any stat that doesn’t back up your argument, although I’m not completely sure what your argument is. There’s plenty of statistical and visual evidence to back up my claims about DeRozan. You really haven’t disputed that other than to go on a rant against statistics.

                  As for the Spurs, I find it funny you chose them, because they’re on of the leaders in the NBA in analytics and advanced stats.



                • DumbassKicker

                  “I actually did respond. There’s a paragraph in my comment that you either missed or will dismiss for some reason, I’m guessing.”

                  That must have been the invisible paragraph that I still can’t see.

                  Other than that, “I find it funny you chose” links to those two articles, as neither comes close to comparing individual stats of one player against individual stats of another, to judge them. Apparently, by your own words, you need stats to talk basketball, but you could at least distinguish analytics that define such things as league wide efficiency numbers from shooting distances, from naked individual player statistic comparisons to judge players in very different circumstances.

                  Apparently your confused, but that individual naked stat comparisons of players has been what my argument was about since the beginning of this discussion. I’ve no idea how that has flown over your head and all you see is a rant against statistics in general. You see things that you don’t write, but don’t see what I write. Don’t know what to say, man.

                  That aside, I can’t be bothered to check their credentials, but I hope these two bloggers you’re linking to now aren’t like the one you used the other day to validate your opinion. Telling someone that if they don’t “believe” your opinion, that they could seek validation in the writing opinion (of the Raps) from a NY DJ whose specialty is writing about music and fashion, was precious.

                  As far as the Harden and Gay trades point, it again has nothing to do with the argument I’ve been making since the beginning of this discussion.

                • Dan

                  If you take away stats how is it your deciding Demar is an above average player. Clearky your just looking at his ppg and how many free throw’s he shoots. Your obviously not watching his defense or his ball handling or three point shooting. Or his ability to make plays or make others around him better. What are the exact reasons you feel he is above average. How can a player who only shoots 44% and play terrible defense be considered above average. Other then he passes your eye test when you watch him. You need to quit watching offense only. When the Raptors are on D watch demar then and not just whoever has the ball on the other team. You will see a player who is lost at that end of the floor. Basketball is 50% offense 50% defense. If your that bad at one sie you have to be great at the other to be above average. This is why he is always below the league average for player efficiency.

                • Oh, and it’s pretty common knowledge that Houston went after James Harden because of his incredible advanced stats, and Memphis traded Rudy Gay, in large part, because of his less than impressive advanced stats.

                • Dan

                  It’s also a sport that includes defense. You want to value Demar strictly by what you see on offense. Same way all the Jose fans like to view him and over value him. Your proving your own point with the Popovich quote. Your just taking it out of context. He doesn’t mean the score matters because of the points. He means wins losses. You think he cares if his team avreages the most points in a season but ends bottome 10 because they don’t defend at all. Ask the warriors how that worked out for them just playing offense. At the end of the day over the last 4 years with demar the raptors have been on the losing end of the score at the end of the game and that has to do with players who play no defense like Andrea, Jose and Demar. Adavance stats will also take into account how much the person your covering scores and thats why Demar usually rates below average because thats what he is.

            • Dan

              go look at Bosh’s stats in Miami compared to his last couple seasons in Toronto. It’s not like his stats went up playing with Lebron and Wade. Demar would suffer the same thing as Bosh less touches. Demar struggles to create for himself and is not a reliable shooter. I don’t think he would have as large a role on teams with more talent. If you don’t want to compare stats because they can be misleading then look at the amount of wins the Raptors have had with Demar as the one of the top guys on the team.

  • smh

    Is there anyway Derozan can fix his outside shot? A shooting coach?

  • Louvens Remy

    Derozan should watch tape of Clyde Drexler after putting in work on his 3pt shot and defense. That’s his ceiling if he wants it.

  • tank

    Disappointed that none of the analyst here mentioned is ability to get to the free throw line as one monster positive for Demar. No one on the raps besides JV late in the season got to the line regularly like DD. Without DD the raps would be void of many free throw attempts which to me is very important to a team. Yes DD isn’t going to be wade or kobe but he has the potential to be be as good as JOe Johnson if he continues to work on his game and improve untill 25 years of age.

    Very happy with DD’s improvement in his post up game, mid-range shot and his ability to get to the line. He still needs work in defense, moving without the ball, court recognition on offense (reading double teams etc.)and of course 3 point shooting. Because of DD’s high release it makes it hard for him to get enough strength to hit 3’s at a high rate but if he gets stronger he could eventually become a decent three point shooter if he maintains is mid range form. Michael Jordon was a shooter who stuggled shooting 3’s because of high release but eventually became a good 3 point shooter as he got older and stronger. Overall DD has the potential to be a 20 point 5 rebound and 4 assist guy and thats a lot better then 90% of the shooting guards out there. Anyone who is in the top 10 in the league for free throw attempts while his shot slowly approves is alright in my books.

  • j bean

    I like Zarar’s observation on how DD struggles with the toughest defenders. Fortunately the league doesn’t have many teams that can take away his game completely. With maturity DeMar will adjust to the situations that he now finds frustrating.

  • MEEE

    Can we all stop hating on DD he may not be a top 10 sg ever but the kid works hard and is always trying to improve. At best i think he can be a more athletic Joe Johnson if he keeps improving hes range, handles and defense.

    • In order to be a more athletic Joe Johnson, he would have to improve his range, handles and defense more than anyone has ever improved them in the history of the NBA. An exaggeration? Only partly. Joe Johnson, in his prime, was an excellent ball handler, a very good three point shooter and an above average defender, all of which was the case by the time he was DeRozan’s age. DeRozan, after 4 years in the league, is a below average ball handler, defender and shooter.

      You mistake criticism for “hating on”. I don’t think any of us hate DeRozan. I admire his work ethic and professionalism. I think he’s a good role model for the young Raptors. Unfortunately, he’s got a game that isn’t good enough to be a core player on a good team, and without the skills to be a role player. And in four years, despite his work ethic, he simply hasn’t improved enough to make me think he’ll ever be anything more than a good player on a bad team. And he’s going to be overpaid starting this summer.