DeRozan psychs out Brunson during late-game free throws


DeMar DeRozan is a big proponent of the mental side of basketball.

You can hear it in the way he often analogizes games to boxing matches — and the fourth quarter to the "championship round." You can see it in the way he victimizes opposing defenders with waves of pump fakes before drilling a jumper or earning a trip to the free throw line.

And it was apparent in the final seconds of the Chicago Bulls' 118-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday, particularly as Knicks guard Jalen Brunson stepped to the free throw line with his side ahead 117-116 and six seconds to play in regulation.

Watch as DeRozan circles — and exchanges words with — Brunson as the latter prepared for the critical foul shots:

Brunson, an 87.5 percent free-throw shooter on the season, missed both — and badly, to boot. That gave the Bulls the ball back with six seconds to play and a chance to advance to midcourt after a timeout.

DeRozan took care of the rest by authoring another scintillating clutch moment to add to his lengthy rolodex during his time with the Bulls:

The Knicks, as a team, lost this game at the free throw line. They shot 15-for-26 (57.7 percent) from the stripe in the game and 9-for-15 (60 percent) in the fourth quarter, including 0-for-4 in the final 66 seconds between Brunson's misses and an 0-for-2 trip for Quentin Grimes exactly one minute prior.

When they opened the door of opportunity, the Bulls were amply prepared to seize it.

Click here to follow the Bulls Talk Podcast.

Contact Us