No matter the stakes, Houston Rockets forward DeMarre Carroll has proven to be able to handle trying circumstances, with the latest involving the Rockets.
It’s been a whirlwind for DeMarre Carroll, as he played for three NBA teams in the span of one calendar year, from April 2019 through April 2020 (Brooklyn Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets). Carroll has faced a substantial amount of adversity at each pit stop, starting with the Brooklyn Nets, who made the playoffs during the 2018-19 season, ending a three year postseason drought.
But the Nets decided against keeping Carroll and their core, as the big names came calling, with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving deciding to join forces in Brooklyn. Carroll signed with the Spurs, after they struck out on Marcus Morris.
Carroll was expected to bring heart, hustle, and a never-ending motor to the Spurs, which is the fabric that’s allowed him to last 11 years in the NBA. Carroll ultimately didn’t crack the rotation of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, as he racked up one DNP-CD after another (did not play-coach’s decision). Carroll remained optimistic throughout and maintained a positive attitude.
DeMarre Carroll has handled his situation with the Rockets with class.
Carroll was eventually bought out, clearing the way for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to bring him to the Space City. It’s easy to understand why the Rockets wanted the 33-year-old forward, as the Rockets don’t exactly have a hustle player like Carroll, who can scrap on the defensive end, and battles for rebounds and loose balls.
Not to mention the fact that Carroll averaged 12.3 points per game on 35.8 percent from long-range over his two seasons with the Nets. Carroll is also a career 35.8 percent shooter from deep, which would certainly help the Rockets, who rank 21st in 3-point percentage this season.
But in spite of that, Carroll hasn’t been given many opportunities in Houston, as Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni hasn’t seemed too keen on the idea of giving Carroll meaningful playing time. This couldn’t have been any more evident than the Rockets’ latest game against the Los Angeles Lakers, as Michael Frazier landed 11 minutes of action, compared to Carroll, who didn’t play at all.
Carroll has now sat out more games for the Rockets (eight) than he’s actually played (six). With Eric Gordon out of action due to injury, now would seem like the perfect time to play Carroll, and especially with the playoffs around the corner.
We also can’t forget how Carroll looked when he last took the court, as the Rockets were 16 points better with him on the court during their scrimmage against the Memphis Grizzlies. Carroll also hauled in nine rebounds in just 11 minutes, including two offensive rebounds, which would be a significant addition for a Rockets team that’s been outrebounded by an average of 20.3 rebounds in Orlando’s bubble.
Carroll’s lack of playing time has led many to believe he’s nursing an injury, as there’s no plausible explanation for him being out of the lineup. But in spite of that, Carroll has managed to again glean on his positive attitude and keep his spirits high, regardless of the frustration we know he has with the situation.
It’s unclear what Carroll did to land himself in D’Antoni’s doghouse (if anything), but it’s becoming more and more obvious that the ship may have sailed on him landing meaningful minutes in a Houston Rockets uniform. Regardless, Carroll deserves praise for how he’s handled the situation, as he’s been the model citizen through and through.
Kudos to Carroll for maintaining his positive energy.