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With Toronto Raptors soaring, DeMar DeRozan has no issues with lighter scoring load

From NBA media reports

The Toronto Raptors still have some work to do to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but a win in Boston on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV) would go a long way in that regard.

Either way, the Raptors are comfortable with the way they’ve been playing. They remain the only team that ranks in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and feel like the changes they’ve made offensively this season will pay off in the playoffs.

The changes begin with DeMar DeRozan, who is happy with his drop in scoring (from 27.3 points per game last season to 23.3 this season), as Doug Smith writes in the Toronto Star:

It’s been 10 games since DeMar DeRozan last popped 30 or more points for the Toronto Raptors, and that seems like an eternity for one of the NBA’s most gifted and consistent scorers.

The guy least concerned about it would be DeRozan himself.

“My scoring is in case of emergency,” he joked after the Raptors worked out Friday, on the eve of a date with the Celtics in Boston. “I’m out there just feeling out the game, letting things come easy, facilitating, find guys, just trying to make my teammates better.

“At the end of the day I know I could score whenever I need to score, and it always comes in case of emergency.”

In this season of offensive transformation for the Raptors, the nine-year veteran is absolutely right. His assists are up, his shot totals are down. The 55-20 team is far less reliant on his sublime offensive skills and everyone, it seems, is OK with how things are playing out given the Raptors are a win away from equalling the best year in franchise history with seven games left.