DeMar DeRozan is doing something we have never seen from a perimeter player in NBA history.
Not Michael Jordan. Not Kobe Bryant. Not LeBron James.
After going for 40 points while shooting 66.7 percent from the field in the Chicago Bulls’ win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, DeRozan has notched his sixth-consecutive game of 35-plus points while shooting at least 50 percent from the field.
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That streak of six games ties him with – you guessed it – Wilt Chamberlain for the longest stretch in NBA history.
Players in NBA history with 35+ points on 50% shooting in 6 straight games:
— DeMar DeRozan
— Wilt Chamberlain
If DeRozan gets one more, he’ll set the record. pic.twitter.com/5Bfb60sFbN
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 15, 2022
Chamberlain has achieved the feat twice, but both times, the streak ended at six games.
There are few things more verifying and astounding than joining only 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 and 40 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 three (!) 3-pointers total, all of which came in his 36-point outing against the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 9. To be clear: that means he has zero 3-pointers in any of the other five contests.
His shot chart over this stretch screams “midrange maestro.”
DeRozan is averaging 27.9 points on just 1.8 3-pointers 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 continued his role as NBA’s “King of the Fourth” this season, pouring in a career-high-tying 19 fourth-quarter points to help the Bulls beat the Spurs.
DeRozan has a league-leading 431 fourth-quarter points, which is nearly 70 (!) 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 .542/.667/.900 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 only a half-game out of first place in the Eastern Conference, giving them a better record than both Embiid’s 76ers and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks.
If Chicago could claim 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 suit up with the chance to break Chamberlain’s record as the only player in NBA history with seven straight games of 35-plus points on 50 percent-or-better shooting from the field when the Bulls take on the Sacramento Kings in their final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET.