Milwaukee Bucks playoff opponent spotlight: DeMar DeRozan

Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Toronto Raptors: DeMar DeRozan
MILWAUKEE, WI – APRIL 27: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Analyzing DeMar DeRozan’s playoff history, including a series against the Milwaukee Bucks

A big narrative that has surrounded the Chicago Bulls, but DeMar DeRozan specifically this season is that they might be a solid regular season team but they’ll falter come playoff time. The Bulls roster as a whole doesn’t have much playoff experience and DeRozan, someone who has gone to the Conference Finals, hasn’t had a great track record of individual playoff success.

In five seasons with the Toronto Raptors, DeRozan averaged 23.4 points on 54.2 percent true shooting and a 46.4 percent effective field goal rate. Those aren’t eye-popping efficiency numbers (they’re below average), but he was the leading scorer and second-best player on a team that made the playoffs in those five seasons.

In the playoffs for those five seasons, DeRozan averaged 21.9 points on 49.7 percent true shooting and a 42.2 percent effective field goal rate. An over four percent drop in both efficiency stats! That’s not ideal for someone who was expected to lead those Raptors teams in scoring!

Part of that was he didn’t get to the line as frequently as he did in the regular season. He had a 43.4 percent free throw rate in that five-season span, but saw it drop to 36.3 percent in the playoffs. He also saw an over three percent drop off on his 2-point attempts from the regular season (46.5 percent) to the playoffs (43 percent).

DeRozan’s playoff highs and lows have come against the Bucks too!

Way back in 2017 the seeds were reversed and DeRozan’s third-seeded Raptors took on an up-and-coming sixth-seeded Bucks team in the first round and… it was an interesting series for the then-27-year-old. He was coming off of a career-high 27.3 points per game and were definitely the favorites.

The series was split 1-1 going back to Milwaukee after a couple of solid DeRozan games. He averaged 25 points on 52.3 percent true shooting and got to the line 20 times in the first two games.

In Game 3, DeRozan scored eight points — all at the free-throw line — as he went 0-of-8 from the field. To this day, it was only the third time since his second NBA season (regular season or playoffs) that he’s been held without a made basket. The Bucks have done it twice.

Now, DeRozan eventually figured out the Bucks’ trapping defense and posted two 30-plus point games in the final three games of the series to close Milwaukee out, but you can see what I mean by playoff highs and lows.

DeRozan hasn’t made the playoffs since his first season with the San Antonio Spurs, though, so let’s focus on some more recent history.