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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Starting Five: Making it tough for DeRozan

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- DeMar DeRozan has had a really strange series so far.

The Toronto Raptors swingman is averaging 24.5 points on 18.8 shots per game, while shooting 36 percent from the field.

But he’s been able to get to the free-throw line 12 times per game -- making 10.5 of those for an 87.5 percent clip.

DeRozan was unstoppable in the fourth quarter of Game 2 (17 points) and the first half of Game 4 (20 points).

The Brooklyn Nets, though, shut down DeRozan on Sunday night after he got off to a 7-for-10 start. He missed his last nine shots and scored just four points in the second half.

Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston primarily guarded DeRozan during that stretch.

Every shot DeRozan put up was either contested or off balance. Nothing came easy.

When he was able to get by Anderson or Livingston on a drive or via a pick, help was on the way in the form of Kevin Garnett's long arms or Andrei Kirilenko coming strong from the weak-side.

The Nets need to continue to make it tough on DeRozan and force him to take tough shots.

If he makes them, great. He’s talented. He’s going to make some of them.

They just need to do a better job (easier said than done) of not fouling.

“Well, we’re going to put a lot of different guys on him; Alan is one. And then AK, Joe, so we’re showing that we’re going to put different guys and throw different schemes at DeRozan,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said.

“He’s a talented player. You saw that last night early, so we’ve gotta make sure he doesn’t get easy shots. A lot of those shots he did make were contested shots.”

Question: What do you think the Nets need to do to contain DeRozan? Let us know in the comments section below.


In case you missed it:
Is Kidd sitting KG too much? Also, what do Deron Williams and Joe Johnson need to do better?

Stat to know: The Nets have missed 18 free throws in their last two games (48-for-66).

Up next: The Nets return to practice on Tuesday.