By Ryan McNeill
Even though DeMar DeRozan has shot an abysmal 43% from the field so far this season and 33% over the past three games, his head coach still has complete faith in him.
However, if it was me, I’d have the second-yeard guard stuck to the end of the bench until he started showing me in practice that he could be more aggressive on offense and start hitting shots when he gets open looks.
After an inept showing against the Charlotte Bobcats where he went 2-3 from the field and had more fouls (five) than points (four), I asked Jay Triano if he hesitated to take Julian Wright out of the game at the 6:41 mark of the fourth quarter for DeRozan.
Without missing a beat Triano was emphatic in stating he didn’t pause before inserting DeRozan back into the game.
“Julian (Wright) had logged a ton of minutes and DeMar (DeRozan) had been in foul trouble all night,” Triano explained to me after the loss to Charlotte.”He had two (fouls) early and then four (fouls) early and we had to try and get him back on the floor because he can make plays for us. I never questioned that decision.”
So, just to clarify: the guy who had earned a ton of minutes by giving the team a spark off the bench got benched for a starter who found himself in trouble and wasn’t producing much offence?
Sorry, but I fail to see that logic in that, coach.
The numbers are on my side as DeRozan was a brutal -8 in the fourth quarter against the Bobcats. For those of you who aren’t used to the hockey stat, this means when he entered the game the Raptors were up three points but they end up losing by five.
Adding fuel to my fury is that in nearly six minutes of burn to close out the game all DeRozan had to show for his efforts are one assist and one attempted field goal (which he made).
Also worth noting is over the course of the game DeRozan was an atrocious -16 while Wright was healthy +10.
Even though Triano’s faith in DeRozan isn’t shaken mine is and i will be interesting to watch over the next few games and weeks if DeRozan can snap out of this shooting funk and find a way to help the team secure some wins.
If not, Triano’s view of him might start to resemble mine.