DeMar DeRozan is off to a career-best start to a season in his first year with the Chicago Bulls, as the wing is fresh off winning the NBA’s Player of the Week in the Eastern Conference after averaging 30.3 points per game in wins over the Hornets, Knicks and Nets.
On the season, DeRozan is averaging 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game on 49.8/33.3/88.8 shooting splits, which would give him the best true shooting percentage of his career and second-highest scoring output. He has, along with Zach LaVine, been the catalyst for the Bulls’ 16-8 start, pushing them to second in the East more than a quarter of the way through the season.
Chicago plays host to an up-and-down Denver team on Monday that has some significant absences, but they will have to do so without the services of DeRozan after he entered the league’s health and safety protocols after shootaround on Monday.
Bulls star DeMar DeRozan has entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols and is listed out vs. Denver. DeRozan could miss several games in protocols.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 6, 2021
If DeRozan isn’t able to produce a pair of consecutive negative tests within 24 hours of each other (as LeBron James did last week), he could miss 10 days in the protocols, which would obviously be a big blow to a Bulls team on a hot streak. Without DeRozan, the scoring load will fall on LaVine, with the need for Lonzo Ball to take on a bit more of the on-ball creativity as well as a likely increase in post touches for Nikola Vucevic to try and replace the heavy usage load missing with DeRozan out.