The Bulls beat Atlanta Hawks with a brilliant performance by DeRozan. The small forward proved that he is the best in numbers of the regular season and is on his way to fight for the MVP against the best players in the NBA.
By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).
Chicago Bulls was down by three points just a minute before the end against Atlanta Hawks, but DeMar DeRozan scored a layup that put his team very close to their rivals and, after that, he scored a spectacular 2+1 -also from mid-range- with 15 seconds left before the buzzer.
Javonte Green closed the game from the personal to set the score at 112-108, with the situation in sight.
The hero was DeRozan, who scored 37 points (15 of 21 from the field and 2 of 3 in three-pointers), 12 of them without a miss in the last quarter, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a tremendous cold blood to solve a borderline situation.
DEMAR DEROZAN ?
CLUTCH ONCE MORE pic.twitter.com/6CJ2scs7U4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 25, 2022
It is the eighth consecutive game of more than 35 points and a percentage above 50% from the field for DeRozan. Two variables that, combined, are unmatched in National Basketball Association history.
Only Wilt Chamberlain came close, reaching the figure of six that DeMar has made insignificant. It was in 1961 and 1963.
— Overtime (@overtime) February 25, 2022
In addition, the eight figure is just two games shy of matching the best streak in Chicago history, which has belonged to Michael Jordan since 1986.
The Bulls picked up their fifth straight win, their first after the All-Star Game break, behind Danilo Gallinari’s 26 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 27.
This is DeMar DeRozan’s 8th straight 35-point game, two shy of Michael Jordan’s franchise record.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 25, 2022
Trae Young, All-Star and star of the Hawks, signed 14 points and 10 assists in a really horrendous game: 4 of 17 in shooting, with 0 of 5 in three-pointers and 4 losses.
Clint Capela was very good under the hoops -14 points and 17 rebounds- although nothing was enough to stop DeRozan, who was accompanied by Nikola Vucevic (12+10), Zach LaVine (20+5+3), Ayo Dosunmu (12+6+3) and Tristan Thompson (11+6 in just 13 minutes).
Another impressive and extraordinary performance wrapping up one of the players of the season. One who is already, or should be, above those big names in the NBA like Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and -maybe- Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid for the fight for an MVP in which he should enter to compete.
“Right now, he’s the league MVP in my eyes”
Tristan Thompson on DeMar DeRozan pic.twitter.com/PerWu2T66l
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) February 24, 2022
DeRozan on a road to vindication
DeMar DeRozan is coming back just as he left. The Chicago Bulls player is one of the best stories of the season.
The small forward does not stop performing incredible exhibitions, has the city of Chicago surrendered at his feet, half the NBA pending his movements and almost all analysts, journalists and fans seeing him as a serious candidate for the MVP award of the regular season.
The statistics back him up: he averaged 28.3 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, with more than 51% shooting from the field. The Bulls accompany this good performance in the first position of the Eastern Conference with a 39-21 record.
DeMar DeRozan is the 7th player in NBA history with 8 straight 35-point games. He joins…
James Harden pic.twitter.com/o1XcZqb4bj
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 25, 2022
The only thing missing is the trophy in his hands, something that is still hard to imagine in some sectors of the National Basketball Association.
DeRozan has everything to be the MVP, but it seems that he lacks that charisma inherent to the North American competition, which always moves along that fine line that separates reality from fiction.
Showmanship and paraphernalia have never been friends of a man who had been away from the spotlight for three seasons at San Antonio Spurs and was a great player and an almost regular All Star at Toronto Raptors, where he ended up being the scapegoat.
Give us a reason why DeMar DeRozan is not your MVP ?
45 PTS pic.twitter.com/eu0PPfArhg
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 25, 2022
At 32, he is on his way to an eternally delayed redemption, to a vindication as unexpected as it is deserved. To be the player he has often said he is, but no one has believed he was.
It was known that DeRozan was good. What we could not imagine is that, theoretically far from his best age and after some other year in which public opinion has sentenced him, he would show us that he was so, so, so good.