Bulls’ Billy Donovan says DeMar DeRozan deserves All-Star nod

Donovan says DeRozan deserves All-Star reserve nod originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Coming off a rare 5-for-5 night from 3-point range in Orlando, DeMar DeRozan laughed when told that if he isn’t announced as an All-Star reserve on Thursday night that he can enter the 3-point shootout instead.

But Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan believes DeRozan should be part of the main event for the second straight season.

“He certainly deserves it,” Donovan said before Tuesday’s Bulls-Clippers game.

DeRozan is vying for his sixth All-Star selection when TNT unveils the reserves, who are voted on by head coaches, on Thursday night. He’s averaging 26.4 points on 51.3 percent shooting with 5 assists and 4.9 rebounds.

Those averages are strikingly similar to DeRozan’s numbers from last season, but the Bulls led the Eastern Conference leading up to last season’s game. This season, an Eastern Conference field packed with qualified candidates plus the Bulls’ middling ways could work against DeRozan.

The game will be played on Feb. 19 in Utah.

“He’s had a great year. He has been really consistent,” Donovan said. “His availability has been pretty impressive for as many years as he has been in the league. He has just been incredibly efficient and played really well. I think he has played at the same level he did last year in a lot of ways.”

DeRozan finished fourth in player voting and sixth in fan voting among Eastern Conference backcourt players. He said he isn’t focused on something that’s not in his control.

“I just try to go out there every single night, be myself, play my butt off, try to win games. For me, I always looked at All-Star as more of a team thing, not just an individual type of thing. But if I make it, I’m always happy,” DeRozan said. “But that’s never been a goal of mine. My goal is to make sure to get to the playoffs, keep improving.”

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