As we move into the top 10 of JazzRank, we start to see the biases of bloggers show forth. If bloggers are simultaneously fans and writers who make no effort to distinguish between those two roles, then we have a right to eschew objectivity and praise the good name of DeMarre Carroll to our hearts content. After all, if there’s one skill you can see every time you turn on a basketball game, it’s drive, and Carroll has that in spades. As the man himself says, hard work is a talent, and at least in that department, there may not be a more talented player on the Jazz roster.
Offseason Accomplishments: Jazz chose to retain him; shattered the records for most tweets from an NBA player with the hashtags #staypositive and #blessed (an impressive feat); started his own T-shirt line (even using the #blessed hashtag on some of those T-shirts); lost the title for most entertaining Jazz-related twitter feed to Enes Kanter, but still maintains a vice grip on the number two position;
Patronus: Junkyard Dog. He chose this one. Not us. I know this probably isn’t what DeMarre had in mind, but I couldn’t help myself.
Stat to Watch: True Shooting Percentage. Frankly, DeMarre Carroll’s straight field goal percentage was mediocre at best last season, but even when accounting for threes and free throws as True Shooting Percentage does, it was still wallowing in the Josh Howard dungeon. Shockingly, that’s actually unfair to Josh Howard. In order to deserve an increase in minutes, Carroll cannot be such an offensive liability. To play the three, Carroll will have to either get to the line more, hone his jump-shooting, or preferably do both. I love DeMarre Carroll if for no other reason than he always cares more than every other player on the floor, but Rudy only played one throwaway series at the end of a blow-out, and unless Carroll wants to get the same kind of playing time for the Jazz that Rudy got for the Irish, he will need more than pure effort. He will need an improved offensive skill set.
Three Outcomes for the Season
1. Carroll improves his perimeter defense and his shooting enough to warrant legitimate playing time at the three and at the four in small line-ups. The best part about this scenario is that it might warrant some re-examination and editing on his typo-ridden ESPN profile that can be found here.
2. Carroll plays himself out of the NBA. This is a real possibility, considering how little interest he garnered at the beginning of the lockout-shortened season. He has played hard and well in limited minutes with the Jazz, and there’s no reason he couldn’t do the same on another team, but players like Carroll get aced out of positions on NBA rosters all the time. Just ask Jordan Farmar. And sadly, Blake Ahearn.
3. Carroll continues to play well enough to warrant a roster spot but remains an end-of-the-bench, wave-the-towel player. This would not be so bad. As a Jazz fan, I feel better just knowing that a player who works as hard as Carroll is in every practice. In fact, I think more teams should consider signing on guys like DeMarre, just to amp up the intensity of the practices and make sure the starts don’t get complacent. Can somebody please find a roster spot for Blake Ahearn?