Toronto Raptors: The Rap Up

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Player of the Week

Jan 5, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (10) drives to the basket as Miami Heat shooting guard Ray Allen (34) defends during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Another benefit of the Rudy Gay trade has been the emergence of Demar Derozan as the teams first option. He has a proven ability to get 20+ points a game, and his rebounding and assist numbers this year represent career highs.

This week he helped lead the Raptors to three wins,  as he made jump-shots, drove to the hoop, and dropped off to open teammates when he should have.

When your first option on offence isn’t an unconscious chucker (See: Gay, Rudy) it has the effect of opening up opportunities for all five players on the court, not just one.

After the win against the Bulls, in which nearly every player played poorly, the Raptors faced a tough test in Paul George and the Pacers. Derozan came out and lit up the Pacers to the tune of 26 points, in a game where George was held to just 12.

Not only did this come against an elite-level defence, it came against the East’s leading team.

Against the Wizards, Demar once again lead the way with 20 points and added 5 assists. Against the Heat, in a losing effort, he put up 26 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.

Derozan’s play lately has been outstanding, and his excellent individual numbers aren’t coming at the expense of the team’s overall output.

If he can continue to put up those numbers on a nightly basis it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him sneaking onto the East’s All-Star team, picked by coaches who have seen his talent first hand.