DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors just completed a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday.
It was a disastrous all-around series for a Raptors team that headed into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed back east. And it could have some wide-ranging ramifications on the future of the organization as a whole (more on that here).
As the face of the franchise, DeRozan didn’t do much to help his Raptors overcome the giant that is LeBron James. He averaged just 16.8 points on 44 percent shooting from the field. DeRozan was even benched for the entire fourth quarter of Game 3.
In holding his season-ending press conference to the media in Toronto, an obviously somber DeRozan gave us some insight into what he is feeling. It’s not good.
“My nine years of being in the league, this is probably the toughest, most frustrating, difficult, lowest feeling I’ve had,” DeRozan told reporters.
DeRozan opened up the presser by saying how “terrible” he feels and later noted that “there’s always belief. I always look at life, not just basketball. The toughest things you go through will turn you into something greater than you could ever imagine.”
This isn’t just a philosophical approach from DeRozan. He made news earlier this season by publicly talking about some life struggles he’s been going through. Using that in his end-of-season presser tells us a lot about the guy.
For the Raptors, it’s not yet known what the future might bring. Head coach Dwane Casey could very well be fired here soon. The team could also look to split up the backcourt combo of DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Either way, it’s clear that those in Toronto are not anywhere near pleased with what happened during the 2018 NBA Playoffs.