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DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls shoots over Giannis Antetokounmpo #34

The Chicago Bulls‘ Wednesday started off normal enough. They went through a shootaround ahead of their Game 2 battle with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.

And DeMar DeRozan delivered another one of his patented analogies.

“It’s kind of like when you first talk to a girl and you get past the part of telling somebody you like them. Now you know how to take the right approach from here.”

Even DeRozan had to smile at that one, per NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, saying, “I don’t know if that’s a good analogy or not. I try”.

It was perfect.


Satisfaction Guaranteed

Much was made over DeRozan’s poor showing in the series opener. He finished with 18 points but shot 6-of-25 from the floor. Dismissive of the off-night, DeRozan “guaranteed” he wouldn’t shoot as poorly as he did the next time out.

He wasn’t kidding.

DeRozan dropped a playoff career-high 41 points including 10 points in the fourth quarter of a game that was within three points after the Bulls had led by as much as 18 points. Bulls Twitter took notice.

You know it’s going good when the beat guys are casually marveling at what is happening on the floor. As user @fakndafunk so kindly pointed out in a quote tweet, DeRozan did it with “The same mid-range shots Twitter said wouldn’t be a factor in the playoffs?! No way”.

Mayberry was not alone in admiring the work being put in by a player on the team he covers.

That seems like a fair take given the global reach DeRozan’s performance had as the last game of the night.


The Comparison

Anytime a performance such as DeRozan’s occurs the takes come out hotter than usual. This one saw the return of the comparison to Michael Jordan. It’s the same (mostly) tongue-in-cheek go-to when the 13-year veteran was averaging 34.2 points per game in February and garnering MVP love.

User @DrGuru_ replied simply by referring to the Bulls’ star as “DeMar DeJordan” There were more.

Of course, Jordan holds the NBA playoff record scoring 63 points on the Boston Celtics in 1986, also in Game 2 of the first round.

The Bulls lost that game though. Surely fans, and DeRozan will take the 41 points and win and call it even enough.


On the Right Foot

DeRozan played the game wearing Kobe 9s in the “Fade to Black” colorway. There is no better way to put what he did to the Bucks on this night. Not only did he hit shots over Antetokounmpo, but he blocked him too, returning the favor from a possession earlier.

He got him again to begin the fourth quarter.

The five-time All-Star finished with the two blocks on Antetokounmpo, seven rebounds, four assists, a steal, and just two turnovers.

This surely came as no surprise to DeRozan. His splits between Game 1 and Game 2 of a playoff series pointed to a dramatic improvement, albeit, not one of this magnitude.

His current Bulls and former USC teammate, Nikola Vucevic spoke of the impact DeRozan can have on a game.

Vucevic followed up his 24-point, 17-board performance in Game 1 with a 24-point, 13-rebound outing in Game 2.

He, along with Patrick Williams (10 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block), and the rest of this team really stepped up their play on both ends of the floor outscoring the Bucks 63-49 in the first half.

A 61-51 Bucks second half almost doomed them, but that is when the “King of the Fourth” took over.

Speaking in his postgame media availability about repeating his Game 1 clunker DeRozan said, “I just knew it wasn’t going to happen.”


Next Up

The teams will reconvene on Friday in Chicago where the Bulls posted the 27-14 record in the regular season. That was the eighth-best mark in the NBA and the fourth-best in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee did post the league’s fifth-best road record, though, and beat the Bulls both times they visited the United Center. Of course, before Wednesday’s Game 2, they had swept the Bulls at Fiserv Forum this season, too.

Source: Heavy

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