DeMar DeRozan is doing something we have never seen before in NBA history.
Not from Wilt Chamberlain. Not from Michael Jordan. Not from Kobe Bryant. Not from LeBron James.
Prior to the All-Star break, DeRozan surpassed Chamberlain for the longest stretch in NBA history with at least 35 points while shooting at least 50 percent from the field at seven games.
The All-Star break couldn’t cool him off, as DeRozan expanded on that streak in his first game back.
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DeRozan went for 37 points on 71.4 percent shooting from the field in the Chicago Bulls’ win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
That performance extends his sole-standing in the NBA history books at eight games of at least 35 points on 50 percent shooting.
This dude keeps doing it.
37 PTS | 71 FG%
38 PTS | 59 FG%
40 PTS | 67 FG%
38 PTS | 50 FG%
35 PTS | 64 FG%
36 PTS | 68 FG%
38 PTS | 59 FG%
45 PTS | 60 FG%
It’s also his longest streak of 30-point games in his career. pic.twitter.com/mSPTE9NW50
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 25, 2022
Chamberlain reached six consecutive games with those parameters twice in his career, but both times, the streak came to an end at six.
There are few things more verifying and astounding than surpassing Chamberlain in any statistical comparison in NBA history, speaking to just how insanely ridiculous DeRozan has been over the last week.
The streak started when DeRozan poured in 45 points on 60.0 percent shooting from the field against the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 6. Since then, he has gone for 38, 36, 35, 38, 40, 38 and 37 points, all while shooting no lower than 50.0 percent from the field in any game.
What may be even more impressive is that over this stretch, DeRozan has only hit six (!) 3-pointers total, three of which came in one game in his 36-point outing against the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 9.
To be clear: that means he had zero 3-pointers in five of the eight games during this streak.
His shot chart over this stretch screams “midrange maestro.”
DeRozan is averaging 28.3 points on just 1.8 3-pointer attempts per game, which, according to StatMuse, is the most by any guard on fewer than two 3-point attempts per game since Jordan in 1997-98.
The Sporting News’ own Micah Adams already made that comparison, aligning DeRozan’s revitalizing season in Chicago alongside Jordan’s ’98 MVP season.
DeMar DeRozan is basically 1997-98 Michael Jordan.
Year 13 DeMar:
53% on 2s
34% on 3s
86% on FT
Year 13 Jordan:
48% on 2s
24% on 3s
78% on FT
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) February 15, 2022
To bolster his resume, DeRozan has been the NBA’s “King of the Fourth” this season, pouring in 12 more fourth-quarter points against the Hawks
DeRozan has a league-leading 455 fourth-quarter points, which is nearly 60 (!) points more than the next closest player, Giannis Antetokounmpo. DeRozan is also second to Joel Embiid for the most clutch points in the NBA, but his efficiency with shooting splits of .541/.667/.902 is unmatched.
If you’re wondering where all of this places DeRozan on Vegas’ MVP odds, the answer is much more favorable than you would think.
DeMar DeRozan 2022 NBA MVP odds
According to FanDuel, DeRozan has the ninth – yes, ninth – highest MVP odds in the NBA right now.
The Bulls are in first place in the Eastern Conference, meaning they have a better record than both Embiid’s 76ers and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks.
If Chicago could keep the top seed in the East, DeRozan would be impossible to ignore as an MVP candidate playing the way he is right now.
He’ll take this scorching hot scoring streak into Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.