Despite another disappointing season for the Brooklyn Nets, DeMarre Carroll’s veteran leadership has helped the young squad keep their heads high while playing hard.
Entering the season as a “salary dump,” DeMarre Carroll has been quietly putting forth a career year, especially in the area of scoring and rebounding (numbers representing career highs, respectively). His play has been great for the Brooklyn Nets this season, but his veteran leadership simply shouldn’t go unnoticed.
It’d be a damn shame if it did.
The Brooklyn Nets currently sit 13th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 23-50 while remaining 14 games out of the playoffs. The Nets are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and with all of this in mind, it’s hard to keep producing and going out on the court to win.
Carroll simply does not allow or want his young Nets teammates to give up. Carroll, 31, is the second oldest player on the Nets roster behind Timofey Mozgov, who is only a few weeks older.
During the Nets disappointing season, Carroll has always played at a consistent level. This consistent play not only makes a huge impact on the court, but has motivated Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to play at a high level, per Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily.
“I like how DeMarre always played. His work ethic is good, he’s a leader. Sometimes with his accent, we don’t know what he’s saying, but his intent is in the right place,” said Rondae Hollis-Jefferson looking two lockers over and laughing towards Carroll.
The Nets have experienced a serious problem with front-court injuries this season. Carroll has played positions he usually does not play due to these issues. He’s played power forward and even center in some games. By Carroll taking on these positions, this motivates Nets players to perform at higher levels through simply witnessing the veteran’s workmanlike attitude.
Forget just front-court. Carroll’s attitude is a positive plague throughout the entire locker room, point guard included (D’Angelo Russell).
“That leadership role, that voice, that experience. He brings a lot to the team. We appreciate it, you know, we can just be a young team with no veteran guys. [We’re] fortunate enough to have a guy like him. [He’s] been through it, been around Kenny [Atkinson] for a long time, knows what Kenny wants, and kind of dumbs down the message whenever he gets the message from Kenny. He has that experience, credibility, so when I ask him something he’s been there, done that.”
This past Monday, Carroll helped lead the Nets to a win over the Grizzlies scoring 18 points and collecting six rebounds. His play on the offensive end played a huge role in the win but his defensive effort helped the Nets lock down the Grizzlies. He recorded one block and one steal to go along with a handful of late-game stops.
Carroll is averaging 13.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season. He is playing with high intensity and consistency every game.
Forget wins. These young Brooklyn Nets would feel as high as they do right now in the season without DeMarre Carroll’s underrated yet spectacular veteran leadership.