Zach LaVine Headlines Top Reactions to DeMar DeRozan’s Monster Night

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball.

It was quite the debut for Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan in the regular-season opener against the Miami Heat. Unexpectedly short-handed after Zach LaVine was ruled out with “left knee management”, the Bulls came away victorious on the road winning 116-108 in a game that saw them lead by as much as 15 points.

The Bulls got solid showings from starting point guard Ayo Dosunmu and backup Goran Dragic who combined for 29 points, six assists, and four steals with the former also hauling in five rebounds.

Center Nikola Vucevic did not shoot well going 1-for-5 from beyond the arc but he still chipped in 15 points and 17 rebounds.

DeRozan finished with a game-high 37 points with 19 points coming in the third quarter.


Caruso, LaVine Praise DeRozan

Bulls fans are very familiar with DeRozan’s late-game heroics from his numerous displays last season. He was back at it in the opener with just nine points in the first half coming on 3-of-6 shooting.

The five-time All-Star turned it on after the break going 7-of-9 from the floor in the third quarter adding the final nine points in the fourth quarter.

For his troubles, DeRozan was praised by LaVine and Alex Caruso.

LaVine was a surprising scratch to those on the outside. However, Billy Donvan hinted that it was part of their plan all along to keep the two-time All-Star fresh throughout a long, grueling 82-game season.

The Bulls star sent a simple tweet in reaction to his teammate’s night.

Caruso started the contest but struggled from the floor finishing with no points after going 0-for-5 from the floor including 0-for-2 from deep.

He gave DeRozan a shoutout in the latter’s postgame interview.

 


 

DeRozan Joins Jordan Again

Last season, DeRozan joined Bulls legend Michael Jordan on a list that included four other players including LaVine in scoring 50 points in a Bulls uniform. In this year’s regular-season opener, he again put his name in the same breath as Jordan’s.

DeRozan became just the fifth player in Bulls history to score at least 35 points in an opener – a feat Jordan accomplished three times. DeRozan also joined Jordan as the only two players in franchise history to record 30 points, five assists, and five rebounds in an opener.

“I know what I’ve put into this game,” DeRozan said, “how much I love the game. I can assure you not many guys in this league work as hard as I do.”

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was effusive in his praise of DeRozan calling the three-time All-NBAer “a great player” and pointing out DeRozan’s knack for getting to the free-throw line, something he did for six attempts during the third quarter of this game alone.


Bulls’ Best-Laid Plans

The Bulls went about their offseason pushing continuity and improved health as means of significant improvement over last season. They also worked to emphasize some different offensive principles – namely ball and player movement.

Their goal was to create more randomness to prevent opponents from locking in on DeRozan.

Neither objective was not really possible in this game despite the solid contributions from his teammates but it did not matter in the end.

 

DeRozan took a parting shot at the pundits who wrote him off (again) this summer just as they did last year. But seeing as they struggled mightily against the league’s top teams last season – including going 0-4 against the Heat.

The biggest thing is the Bulls came away with a confidence-boosting win.

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