Chicago Bulls: Ranking DeMar DeRozan’s top 5 playoff moments

DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan /
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Chicago Bulls
DeMar DeRozan /

The Chicago Bulls hit a low point following the injury to Alex Caruso in late January. The team was already struggling to fill Lonzo Ball’s role after he went down in early January. Once Caruso went down, the team fell apart.

Following the All-Star break, they only won six games and dropped from second in the Eastern Conference to sixth — barely avoiding the play-in. The only consistency they saw in that stretch was the play of DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan’s scoring didn’t stop in their rough stretch. The few wins they grabbed were because of his play. In the playoffs, any success the team hopes to have will start and end with his play. Historically speaking, that isn’t too bad of a predicament to be in.

Let’s look back on DeRozan’s top five playoff performances.

5. Game 5 vs Indiana Pacers (2016)

DeRozan’s time with the Toronto Raptors featured plenty of strong playoff performances. One of his strongest came in the First Round of the 2017 Eastern Conference Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers. The Raptors had just established themselves as a playoff team following back-to-back appearances.

In both series, they were knocked out in the first round. The 2016 playoffs were the year for the group to show that they were worth keeping together — particularly the pair of DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. The Pacers were a battle-tested team. They had multiple playoff runs under their belt and were rejuvenated by the return of their star, Paul George.

The difference between the teams was evident early in the series, as the Pacers took Game 1 on the road, stealing home-court advantage. The Raptors were able to bounce back and take Game 4 on the road, heading back to Canada for Game 5.

If the team had lost Game 5, they would’ve been playing an elimination game in Indiana against a mature Pacers team. That wasn’t a scenario that the Raps wanted to be stuck in, and DeRozan made sure that they got the win at home.

Entering the game, he was shooting 29.6 percent over the first four games of the series.

He finally put on the All-Star show that Toronto had been waiting for in the playoffs. DeRozan’s big game and an even bigger Raptors comeback put Toronto on the brink of a second-round berth. The Raptors were down 14 points in the third quarter and rallied back behind a DeRozan flurry in the late third.

DeRozan finished the game with 34 points and the Raptors held on for a 102-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers and a 3-2 lead.

“I just felt like my normal self,” DeRozan said. “It’s all about patience. You can’t get flustered, you can’t get frustrated. You’ve got to stay the course. That’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

This game gave the Raptors the momentum and eventually the series win.