Having lost to the Denver Nuggets in Game 7, DeMar DeRozan's first season with the San Antonio Spurs has come to an end.
DeRozan appeared in 77 of San Antonio's games during the regular season, posting averages of 21.2 points, 6.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds per contest. He wasn't named an All-Star for the first time in four years, but he helped the Spurs win 48 games - giving them the seventh-best record in the Western Conference - as their second-leading scorer and leading playmaker.
DeRozan also helped the Spurs push the No. 2 seeded Nuggets to seven games in the first round with a couple of notable performances, none bigger than his 25-point, 7-assist showing in Game 6 to keep San Antonio's season alive.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at four stats that defined DeRozan's 2018-19 season...
6.2: How many assists DeRozan averaged per game
It set a new career-high for DeRozan, up from the 5.2 assists he averaged per game last season. It was also much-needed with the Spurs losing Dejounte Murray, who started at point guard in 48 games last season and was expected to be their full-time starter this season, to a torn ACL in preseason.
In total, DeRozan dished out eight or more assists in 24 games in his first season with the Spurs. He had 34 such games in his nine seasons with the Toronto Raptors.
He even set a new single game career-high with 14 assists in an overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 22, 2018.
The payoff was DeRozan averaged his fewest points and shot attempts since 2014-15.
With Murray expected to return to the lineup next season, it'll be interesting to see how it impacts DeRozan's game - will he continue to be San Antonio's primary playmaker or will he take on more of a scoring load?
0.6: How many 3-pointers DeRozan attempted per game
DeRozan attempted a total of 45 3-pointers this season. The only time he's taken less is when he was a rookie, back in 2009-10.
Most of those came in the first half of the season, too. Playoffs included, he's taken a grand total of six 3-pointers in 2019 and missed each one.
In eliminating 3-pointers almost entirely from his game, DeRozan looked more like the DeRozan of old this season, with over half of his shots coming from midrange.
He did, however, attempt close to a quarter of his field goals at the rim, which is one of the higher rates of his career.
Interestingly enough, that didn't result in DeRozan taking more free throws. He actually posted the lowest free throw attempt rate (33.6 percent) of his career.
33.9: DeRozan's best Game Score of the season
Game Score is a metric created by former ESPN analyst John Hollinger that gives "a rough measure of a player's productivity for a single game."
Based solely on that, DeRozan's performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 7, 2018 was the third-most productive game of his career.
In 36 minutes of play, DeRozan scored 36 points on 11-for-20 shooting from the field and 14-for-18 from the free throw line. He came close to his first career triple-double as well - which he later got against the Toronto Raptors - with nine assists and eight rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan produced 36 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists in last night's win over the Lakers. The only player in @spurs history to match or exceed each of those totals in a single regular-season game is Tim Duncan with 38/16/9 on Jan. 14, 2003. pic.twitter.com/AKKKa3XIlJ- Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) December 8, 2018
All of that helped the Spurs overcome 35 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds from LeBron James to defeat the Lakers, 133-120.
The only games DeRozan had a higher Game Score in his career was when he exploded for 52 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018 and when he hit a career-high six 3-pointers en route to 45 points against the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017.
+4.2: San Antonio's net rating with DeRozan on the bench
San Antonio's offensive rating was practically the same with and without DeRozan this season, but their defensive rating improved by a sizeable amount when he wasn't out there.
According to NBA.com, the Spurs went from holding opponents to 105.8 points per 100 possessions with DeRozan on the bench to giving up 110.3 with him on the court. (Think the Indiana Pacers, who ranked third in defensive rating this season, compared to the LA Clippers, who ranked 19th).
That was enough for the Spurs to have a better net rating with him off the court.
There were several seasons during his time in Toronto in which the Raptors had a better net rating in those same situations - mostly because of his shortcomings on defence - so this isn't a new phenomenon for DeRozan.
Even so, the Spurs will need to improve on both ends of the court with DeRozan in the lineup next season to reach their full potential as long as they're built around him and LaMarcus Aldridge.
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