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DeMarre Carroll Hasn’t Been The Same Since A Kick To The Head

Right about now the fans in Toronto are ready to ride forward DeMarre Carroll out of town on a rail. The Raptors big free agent addition of 2015 has been beyond terrible over the past 10 games, coinciding with an accidental kick to the head by rookie Pascal Siakam in Philadephia.

Going back to that fateful night in Philly when Carroll went 0-6 from the field, the Junkyard Dog 2.0 has averaged 5.7 points in  25.9 minutes on 25.6 percent shooting from the field and 15.4 percent from three.

In the days after the game Carroll admitted his neck was stiff, and no wonder, the blow to the head he took from Siakam looked like it could have been very serious and as if that wasn’t enough, it didn’t come out until much later that he also injured a finger.

The injured finger has “affected his mechanics,” how’s that for the understatement of the season?

The really tough part to accept about Carroll’s situation is that he had only just admitted he was starting to feel good about his offense a couple of days before getting kicked in the head.

“It’s gone (knee problems), now I can just focus on my game,” Carroll told Pro Bball Report after scoring 20 points on the Knicks in Toronto on January 15th. “Last year was always about (that). This year was I hope my knee don’t hurt tomorrow. Now my knee is good.”

Carroll had put together a seven game streak averaging 14.4 points in 32.9 minutes on 46.6 percent shooting from the field and 42.6 percent shooting from three. He looked every part of the impact free agent forward the Raptors thought they were getting and then, in an instant, it ended.

How Carroll managed to avoid missing several games with concussion protocol isn’t known. Assume he passed, but he was definitely shaken up in Philly. Carroll has mentioned more than once he doesn’t like to sit out and will play thru pain (and probably other symptoms), even if it isn’t always a good idea. Plus with Patrick Patterson sidelined with a knee contusion, he likely felt even more pressure to play.

His finger will heal, the neck stiffness should subside with treatment and time, but the pressure to stay on the court regardless of how he feels isn’t about to go away with the Raptors losers of 8 of their past 10 games. The lack of veteran depth in Toronto this season wasn’t his idea.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 Featured image courtesy of Larry Millson