DeMar DeRozan’s Shooting Struggles May Doom The Toronto Raptors


After nearly 50 games into the season, DeMar DeRozan‘s bad shooting is now a trend and it’ll eventually hurt the Toronto Raptors

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With all the talk about Terrence Ross‘ offensive struggles, DeMar DeRozan‘s shooting struggles have seemed to be largely ignored.

It’s been a rough year for DeRozan. Not only did he miss over a month with a torn tendon, but he hasn’t played well at all this season – before and after the injury.

DeRozan is averaging 18.3 points per game, good for 6th among all active shooting guards who have played at least 30 games. But he’s done that shooting at a 39.4 percent clip. As a matter of fact, out of all players in the NBA taking at least 15 shots a game, DeRozan has the 2nd worst field goal percentage, behind only Kobe Bryant, who is out for the season.

TotalsPer GameShooting
1Kobe Bryant3520.422.3.373.401.293.411.477
2DeMar DeRozan3215.518.3.394.411.214.403.490
3Kemba Walker4216.618.8.399.433.320.447.502
4Derrick Rose4317.318.9.415.472.294.462.501
5Kyle Lowry5315.418.6.423.472.333.482.534

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 2/17/2015.

And you can’t blame the bad shooting percentage on injury rust: He was also shooting 39.4 percent before he got hurt.

DeRozan is in his 6th season in the league and he still hasn’t really developed as a scorer. He’s still forcing jumpshots like when he first came into the league, as 36.6 percent of his shots come from 16-24 feet, per He’s 19th in the league in shots taken from that range, per And out of all the top-20 long 2’s shot takers, DeRozan is last in field goal percentage at 33.5 percent.

The shot chart isn’t pretty at all:

DeRozan has a knack for taking long contested 2’s. Although, some of them are late shot clock shots:

And then you got shots early in the shot clock that just don’t make much sense:

Modern day analytics says that long 2’s are a big no-no in today’s game, and the Raptors seem to believe in that, as they are in the bottom 10 in the amount of attempted long 2’s, per

Maybe it has to do with the decrease in shooting at the rim. After shooting a career-high 71.2 percent at the rim last season, DeRozan is only shooting 62.1 per from there. Not the worst of his career, but a pretty steep drop-off.

One thing that has killed DeRozan’s shooting percentage is the amount of shots he has assisted. He’s had every 3-pointer he’s made assisted (mind you he’s only made nine so far this season), but his 2-point shots are a different story. He’s had only 44.6 percent of his 2-pointers assisted, a career low, and a far-cry from his career average of 55.2 percent.

And, miraculously, despite 2 of their 3 leading scorers (DeRozan and Lou Williams) shooting under 40 percent, the Raptors are in the top-10 in field goal percentage, clocking in at 9th on 45.7 percent shooting.

But DeMar DeRozan has never been heralded for his shot selection or his shooting. In fact, that was his biggest criticism when he received a 4-year, $38 million extension back in October 2012. It was thought of as risky, and the majority of the public thought that the Raptors were overpaying him.

Zach Lowe of Grantland said this about him around the time of the extension:

"“The trope is that “advanced analytics” frown on DeRozan, but the truth is that very few statistics of any kind paint him as a productive player”."

Look, we’re over 50 games into the season. It’s clear that this bad shooting from DeMar DeRozan is a trend. But trends can be broken and the Raptors better hope that this one ends come April. He struggled with his shooting in last years playoffs, and if that kind of performance happens again in this year’s playoffs, I can see the Raptors going home in late April/early May — again.

Next: Amar'e Stoudemire will make the Mavs a legit Western Conference Finals candidate