MINNEAPOLIS — A combination of excellent play and tight coverage on Andrea Bargnani appears to have moved sophomore DeMar DeRozan up in the Raptors’ pecking order.
“I think (DeRozan’s) developed extremely well, he’s really started to take off,” head coach Jay Triano responded to a query from a Minnesota reporter.
The Wolves had two high picks in the 2009 draft and showed considerable interest in DeRozan, before opting for point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn.
“He’s become our go-to-guy, the guy we put a lot of faith, a lot of trust in with the basketball,” Triano continued.
“It started last year in the summer league and it’s been accelerated because of the injuries we’ve had.
“He’s getting to the hole and getting more consistent with his jump shot.”
DeRozan has averaged 22.2 points per game over his past five games and 19.9 in January.
Triano said part of DeRozan’s improvement has been all the extra work he puts in honing the basics.
“Every single day after practice, we have (him) dribble full court with the basketball and try to finish ... you forget sometimes DeMar only had one year at Southern Cal,” he said.
“We need to make sure that the fundamentals are with (the young Raptors), because a lot of the guys don’t have that base.”