Any questions about how fully DeMarre Carroll had recovered from Oct. 16 arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle were answered when he got the call in the second game of a back-to-back immediately after returning to the rotation the night before.
Carroll didn’t play badly. He was active defensively and on the boards, hit a couple of shots, had his lone 3-point attempt go halfway down before changing its mind and bouncing out and he played two more minutes than he did in Denver Friday night.
It’s a slow buildup that should lead to Carroll having a larger role in the rotation within the next week or two if all goes well.
Rodions Kurucs got his longest run since returning from his ankle injury, closing out the game with some other Brooklyn Nets reserves and once again showing a penchant for activity.
First the good: Kurucs stepped confidently into an above-the-break 3-pointer and striped it. He also showed his playmaking ability, collecting a defensive rebound and taking it the length of the court through traffic to finish at the rim at the other end.
Now the bad: Even though Ryan Ruocco on the YES Network broadcast pointed the finger at another player, Kurucs gave up a wide-open layup to Damion Jones because he simply lost him.
Kurucs trailed Jones across the floor as Jones moved from the right side to the left above the free throw line. Then Jones wandered more than cut to the basket and Kurucs was still out on the wing, guarding … one of the painted logos on the floor, perhaps.
Defensive awareness comes with experience and that play reminds us that is something Kurucs still needs to accumulate.
OK, first the obvious: Damn, that man works hard out there.
Kenneth Faried was a terror on the glass in limited playing time, threw down a nice dunk off a lob and left no doubt he was going full-tilt.
His free-throw touch was balky, as he hit 2-of-5, but it’s worth pointing out those were his first attempts at the line in an official NBA game in more than nine months, since he attempted two for the Denver Nuggets all the way back on Feb. 1.
Faried is being a consummate professional even as he languishes at the very back of the bench, much to his credit. But it’s still hard to envision a scenario short of injuries to one of the two centers getting the bulk of the minutes that has Faried playing much more than he currently is.