DeMar DeRozan Get Brutally Honest About Joel Embiid After Bulls Snap Sixers’ Win Streak

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers and DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls.

It was never going to be easy for the Chicago Bulls against Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers.

“We’re trying to be there for one another,” said DeMar DeRozan, per Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune. “It’s a tough test trying to guard Embiid alone, so we just tried to be all over the place, scramble, double as much as we can, make everything difficult, make passing difficult. Everybody stayed the course with the game plan and it worked out.”

Embiid finished the game with 37 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks but fouled out less than two minutes into the second overtime. The Bulls would outscore the Sixers 10-4 the rest of the way snapping their winning streak at eight games.

It also opened the door for their social media team to be a bit petty.

DeRozan scored 25 points in the Bulls’ 109-105 victory over the Sixers’ giving his team their first victory over the MVP hopeful in 13 tries. He poured in 25 points adding eight rebounds, three steals, two assists, and one block for good measure.

The clutch savant scored 12 of his points across fourth quarter and both overtimes.

Bulls Make History After Narrowly Avoiding Defeat

It almost wasn’t to be with the six-time All-Star losing his dribble and the ball at the end of regulation clearing the way for Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey to get off a potentially game-winning triple. Maxey would miss and the rest is history for the Bulls and the Embiid rivalry, a rivalry they will renew on March 22.

DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic became the first trio of teammates to score at least 20 points and record at least three steals in a game this season.

They are the first trio of Bulls to do it since the 70s.

DeRozan has had three steals in each of the last three games. He was unable to extend his streak of games with a made three-pointer, however, going 0-for-3 from beyond the arc after entering the night having hit 10 of his last 17 attempts.

DeMar DeRozan on Lonzo Ball

The Bulls took a while – and the addition of Patrick Beverley – to find their footing consistently in the absence of Lonzo Ball who has not played since January of the 2021-22 season. Ball is likely to miss most if not all of the 2023 season as well following what is the third surgery of his Bulls tenure and the fourth in his NBA career.

The Bulls had a plus-6.8 net rating with Ball plus the big three of Derozan, LaVine, and Vucevic last season, per Cleaning the Glass. That ranked in the 86th percentile but it was a reality that lasted less than 1000 possessions.

DeRozan is more concerned about the person than the player.

“It’s bigger than basketball,” he said per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “Taking away something for so long, him not being able to play basketball, can just take a toll on him. So more so than anything, as a friend, just worried about him. I couldn’t care less about anything to do with the team; just his mental well-being and hoping he’s got all the positive backing that he needs just to get through whatever it is he needs to get through.”