DeMar DeRozan quickly put his game 1 performance behind him and came out and put on a more DeRozan-esque performance in Game 2 against the Brooklyn Nets. Behind DeRozan’s 30 points on 9/21 shooting, the Toronto Raptors defeated the Nets 100-95 for their 1st postseason victory in 6 years.
After scoring just 14 points on 3/13 shooting, much of the talk after the Raptors loss was about their all-star guard’s performance in his first post season game. DeRozan himself was critical of his performance but realized that he needed to make adjustments, and move on from game 1.
“The game is about adjustments. I’m a student of the game, I went back and watched the whole game two or three times. And just understand where I can get my shots, opportunities where I could score and get easy buckets. Just me taking advantage of the mistakes I made the first game and not doing the same thing this game and just coming out more aggressive.”
DeMar DeRozan scored 10 points in the final 3 minutes of the game, including two clutch buckets and making 6 of 6 from the charity stripe. All apart of an incredible 17 points in the Raptors’ 36 point 4th quarter.
“I just try to come through for my team when they needed me, especially in the 4th quarter. Be aggressive, you know I missed a lot of easy shots. They just kept feeding me the ball and had the confidence in me to keep going.”
At one point in the 4th quarter when DeMar had picked up his 5th foul midway through, he was visibly upset with coach Dwane Casey for taking him out of the game, apparent by him not joining the team huddle during a timeout, but later admitted that it was just his competitive spirit and he needed to calm himself down.
“I just had to realize there was a lot of time on the clock and they didn’t want to risk it,” DeRozan said. “Just my competitive spirit, of course I didn’t want to come out but it was the smart thing to come out and just my team’s going to keep the lead.”
“It wasn’t necessarily not being able to join my teammates, it’s just my competitive spirit, I was a little frustrated, just calmed myself down. I was a little frustrated that I couldn’t be out there with my team especially at that critical moment. Just me keeping myself together, not being so frustrated, just staying focused.”
A huge glaring hole that appeared in game 1 and continued in game 2 was the turnover discrepancy, which the Raptors now have a combined 40 turnovers in the first two games to the Nets’ combined 18. The players realize that they have to clean it up going forward in the series.
“At the same time we’re trying to play fast especially against Brooklyn, trying to get up and down fast, sometimes that may cause some costly turnovers, we understand that. But we still got to clean it up and limit it,” Derozan said.
With the series tied at 1-1, the Toronto Raptors now head to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for Games 3 and 4 on the road. A setting that the Raptors have found success in, going 22-19 on the road during the season.
“I think we always play well on the road in a hostile environment. I think we proved it this year,” Derozan said. “There’s really no pressure when we play on the road, that’s how we think. We go into a hostile environment, we understand it’s just us, we don’t pay attention to the crowd, to the odds being stacked against us. We understand everything is on us and that’s how we play.”