DeMar DeRozan missed 22 games last season for the Raptors with a groin injury and the shooting guard used the scare it gave him to motivate himself to return to form in 2015/16, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca writes. “I don’t talk about it too much,” DeRozan said of the time he missed in 2014/15. “But mentally that injury was tough on me. It took a lot out of me just to accept that I was hurt and I was going to be away from the game that long.”
The swingman also used the time to study the game and players who excelled by the use of their brains not their athleticism, Grange adds. “I watched all these guy who were successful and weren’t even athletic and I asked myself: How were they successful when they weren’t the fastest on the court?” DeRozan told Grange. “You tried to figure out how they did it and apply that to your game, so I didn’t have to jump higher than the defender or be faster than the defender, but just be craftier, smarter and be more patient.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Knicks center Robin Lopez has become a more integral part of the team’s offense recently, something he credits to becoming more comfortable with his teammates as well as the addition of a hook shot to his game, Fred Kerber of The New York Post writes. “I think I have a better idea of where guys are on the floor and where my opportunities are going to present themselves,” said Lopez. “Guys, the team, coaching staff, they’re developing a confidence in me and that helps, that’s contagious.“
- The Nets‘ offseason signings of Shane Larkin, Thomas Robinson, Wayne Ellington and Andrea Bargnani were considered low risk at the time, but with each underachieving this season their deals could hamper the franchise next season, NetsDaily opines. All four players possess player options for next season and if they all opt in it could impact the team’s free agent plans, NetsDaily notes.