CHICAGO – Considering his heroics in the team’s previous two games along with his contributions to the team on Monday night, he could be forgiven for a few misses at the charity stripe.
DeMar DeRozan, however, wasn’t about to accept that after going 7-for-13 from the free throw line in a 102-98 win at the United Center. Once the game was over, the forward went back to work.
Still in full uniform, DeRozan stepped to the free throw line after the game and began to shoot free throws with a member of the Bulls’ staff. This occurred as workers at the United Center began preparing the arena for the Blackhawks-Avalanche game on Tuesday night.
In his postgame news conference, DeRozan estimates he made 250 free throws after the game, deciding to take the practice after previous chances to do so were made difficult by a busy Bulls’ schedule.
“Usually, I always go back at night, get my rhythm. Shoot a couple, make a couple hundred free throws at least in between games,” said DeRozan. “But with the back-to-backs the last two weeks, I haven’t been able to keep up with my rhythm and it showed tonight. It don’t even look right.
“So just trying to get a rhythm. There was no way I was going to go home feeling comfortable shooting that.”
Such a commitment to his free throw shooting has helped DeRozan shoot 85.8 percent from the line this season even after Monday. In fact, the four-time All-Star has posted a free throw percentage above 80 percent in all but one of his previous 12 seasons in the NBA.
A candidate to be an Eastern Conference All-Star this season, DeRozan is currently averaging 26.9 points, five rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. In eight games in December, the forward averaged 29.3 points, 5.6 assists, & 4.3 rebounds per contest as the Bulls went undefeated with DeRozan in the lineup.