Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish: DeMarre Carroll return brings defense, depth

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

It could be at least 1 happy return in the Thursday edition of the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish, with signs pointing to DeMarre Carroll being back Friday.

It’s an off day edition of the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish, with the Nets on the road getting ready to return to action Friday against the Denver Nuggets.

Speaking of returns, signs appear to be positive that another of the Nets’ walking wounded will be back in uniform Friday night.

According to Brian Lewis of the New York Post, forward DeMarre Carroll could be back in action after being out since undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his right ankle Oct. 16.

Carroll hasn’t played since Brooklyn’s second preseason game in Detroit on Oct. 8 and his return will add spacing and defensive versatility to the Nets’ rotation.

Coach Kenny Atkinson is looking forward to having the 32-year-old veteran in uniform rather than in one of his resplendent suits.

"“Defense has been his forte, that’s been his role in this league. And then obviously his shooting — he’s a really good spot-up shooter. Also end of games, he makes big plays, he makes big shots. But I’d really like to see him give us a boost defensively.“And he gives us versatility, right? He can play 2, 3 and 4 and that type of player in this league is  very important right now.”"

Given the defensive renaissance the Nets have enjoyed the last two games, Carroll’s return would just add to the fun. Brooklyn has allowed 179 points and forced 48 turnovers in their last two games — both blowout victories.

Kurucs hungry to prove himself

From Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required) comes a profile of Brooklyn Nets second-round pick Rodions Kurucs, who was something of a sensation with his strong play in the preseason which earned him a rotation spot until he went down with an ankle injury on Oct. 20.

Kurucs started to travel the road to the NBA early, leaving home at 13 to play for a club in the Latvian capital of Riga.

Kurucs turned pro at 15 and then signed with FC Barcelona in Spain, where he played the last three seasons.

He entered the 2017 NBA Draft before withdrawing and was seen as a first-round talent. When he re-entered the pool this year, he fell to the 40th overall spot before being taken by the Nets.

In Brooklyn’s first three games this season, Kurucs played 14.3 minutes per game, averaging 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 9-for-19/4-for-10/4-for-4.

He sprained an ankle Oct. 20 against the Indiana Pacers and missed five games before coming back on Friday against the Rockets, when he took a DNP-CD.

Kurucs has played just once since his return, logging three minutes at the end of Sunday’s blowout of the Philadelphia 76ers. He also played for the Long Island Nets on Saturday night when they opened their G League campaign with a win over the Westchester Knicks.

With more experienced players in front of him in the rotation getting healthy, Kurucs might not get a lot more playing time as a rookie, but he’s already shown enough potential with his fearlessness and his energy level that he’s a guy to watch for down the line.

The Nets signed Kurucs to a four-year deal in line with what a late first-round pick would receive, so Brooklyn was willing to give him time to develop.

Dudley speaks out on former team

While in Phoenix with his new team, Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley spoke to Arizona Sports‘ “Burns & Gambo” show Wednesday morning and — not surprisingly — didn’t hold back.

Phoenix has won 25 games or fewer in each of the last three seasons and is off to a 2-8 start this year. Dudley played for the Suns the last two seasons and spoke on the state of the team and on last month’s firing of general manager Ryan McDonough.

"“A little shocked because of the timing, not shocked of the result. How many losing seasons can you have? How many times can you have a top-five pick? If you don’t hit on these top-five picks over and over and over … the owner’s not going to fire himself, so next one is general manager.“As you see, what the comment of players have made in terms of the organization — I’ve always loved it — when it comes to Goran (Dragic), Isaiah (Thomas), the (Morris) twins and stuff like that.“Your head is supposed to be the face of it. We had problems with structure there, we had problems with accountability.”"

Dudley was moved to the Nets as one of McDonough’s last moves, a late July trade for Darrell Arthur, whom Brooklyn had earlier picked up from the Denver Nuggets.

Dudley has started each of the first 11 games this season for the Nets after starting only seven games the last two seasons in Phoenix and his minutes load is the highest its been since he was with the Washington Wizards in 2014-15.

Next. 10 best seasons in franchise history. dark

The Nets are Dudley’s sixth NBA team in seven stops (he’s been with the Suns twice) since being drafted 22nd overall out of Boston College by the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets) in 2007.