DeMar DeRozan Won’t Play vs. Magic After Thigh Injury Diagnosed as Contusion

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) and guard Kyle Lowry (7) wait for a free throw during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, March 11, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors star guard DeMar DeRozan has been ruled out for Tuesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic because of a left thigh contusion.  

The absence will represent his first this season. 

In 2017-18, DeRozan is averaging 23.7 points, 5.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds per contest. He’s also prioritized adding the three-pointer to his arsenal, shooting 32.7 percent from beyond the arc on a career-high 3.6 attempts per game. While it isn’t overly impressive, it’s better than the 26.6 percent he shot from deep a season ago.

In the past, DeRozan bucked the trend of the three-point shooter in the modern NBA, instead developing arguably the league’s most effective mid-range jumper. But despite previously lacking three-point range, DeRozan’s offensive game was always versatile.

“It’s having the capability of posting up, maneuvering, having counter moves, being able to get my shot off any direction, any type of way,” he said about his approach in February 2017, per Ian Thomsen of NBA.com. “People don’t understand how much I work on the tough shots that I make. They look tough, but they’re easy to me because I did it over and over so many times.”

Certainly, the Raptors will miss that versatility while DeRozan is out of the lineup. While Kyle Lowry is the team’s driving force, DeRozan is easily the team’s most polished and effective scorer. 

In his absence, players like Norman Powell, OG Anunoby and C.J. Miles will all see their roles expand.