Doc Rivers Compliments DeMar DeRozan’s Work Ethic

“I don’t think people notice him — not because they are in Toronto, but because of their record,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I think people are sleeping on him a lot. I think he adds stuff every year. Early on, he was basically a kamikaze driver — that’s what we labeled him as, early on. Now he gets to the line. He makes jump shots. He defends. He’s a total basketball player.”

Some would argue with that — DeRozan’s shooting percentages have flatlined since his rookie year — but it does appear that the light is going on in his fourth season, which raises another interesting question about players and their development curve.

“Everyone’s different,” Rivers said. “(Kevin) Durant picked it up pretty quickly. The greats ones do, some of the guys that have a chance to be really good — it just takes them time and patience. The mental toughness of that is hard. A lot of guys give in, give up and settle. A lot of guys keep driving. What I like about him, and I don’t know him at all, but it just seems like from afar, he must put a lot of time in the summer on his game, because each year, he’s gotten not just a little better, but a lot better in areas that you would have to work on. So I think that’s impressive.”

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