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DeMar DeRozan is already a quintessential San Antonio Spurs player at the offensive end.
Even as he cut down on his mid-range volume last year, he finished fourth in overall attempts per game. And in first place, there was LaMarcus Aldridge, alpha of the Spurs offense, which closed the season fourth in mid-range frequency, according to Cleaning The Glass.
Joining San Antonio will permit DeRozan to indulge his deepest-seated stylisms without raging against the machine. Kawhi Leonard was lauded for his long-range efficiency, but he too fired up more than his fair share of DeRozan's favorite shots. He finished 12th in mid-range attempts and 13th in pull-up jumpers per game during the 2016-17 campaign.
DeRozan's mushrooming comfort as the pick-and-roll triggerman will only simplify his transition. San Antonio unleashed Leonard from the point of attack in 2016-17. DeRozan should be awarded similar latitude—even with Dejounte Murray ferrying more responsibility—and he has finished no lower than the 78th percentile since 2015-16 in scoring efficiency out of the pick-and-roll.
Iffy spacing could hold both parties back a tick. DeRozan's advancement as a three-point shooter has been overstated. He canned 31 percent of his treys last season. San Antonio's expected started five—Aldridge, DeRozan, Murray, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay—dropped in 205 triples between them. Twelve players cleared 200 three-point makes on their own.
Still, this is not a new dilemma for the Spurs. They've long tilted toward more truncated floor balance. They finagle breathing room anyway. Players will be in constant motion off the ball, which should open the door for DeRozan to use his 6'7" frame for catch-and-finish opportunities on basket beelines. As NBA TV's David Griffin told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck on The Full 48 podcast:
"The DeRozan piece will fit well with what [Gregg] Popovich did a couple of years ago in the playoffs, when everything in their offense was about moving bodies and ball. The slashing, cutting element of DeMar that was really silent to a huge degree in Toronto—you know, he put up huge numbers very largely doing what he does least efficiently.
"He was good in iso situations, he was good in pick-and-roll situations, but he wasn't elite in those things. And if you didn't bite on the ball-fake in playoff games—which because you have enough time to really zone in on DeMar and lock in on defending him, teams by and large didn't do in the playoffs; they stayed down—he's not somebody who's going to jump up and bang a bunch of mid-range shots.
"What he wants to do is get to the free-throw line and get you off your feet. Well, in playoff games, you can prepare to not do that. So now he's less effective in that way, too. And I think what San Antonio is going to do is they'll play to the fact that if they go back to moving bodies and ball, it'll bring back the strengths of all of their pieces. And Pop knows that, and Pop's so successful at doing it I think they'll find a way to be a playoff team."
Incorporating DeRozan into the defensive scheme will pose a different challenge for the Spurs. They lost three of their best stoppers over the summer—Leonard, Kyle Anderson and Danny Green—and DeRozan has never been a plus at the less glamorous end, according to NBA Math's defensive points saved.
Let blind faith in San Antonio wash over you here. The Spurs failed to rescue the Leonard relationship, but they're still the Spurs. Pop and his staff will reach DeRozan on a previously unexplored defensive level. Don't be surprised when he's effectively running players off the three-point line and guarding on-ball attacks without committing too many shooting fouls. A career defensive year could be in the cards.
Source : https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2790870-new-team-who-dis-nba-players-ready-to-thrive-in-new-situations