DeMarre Carroll continued his torrid stretch, dropping 20 points on his first NBA team and has now averaged 16.8 points per game over his last five games.
Carroll knocked down a big transition 3 in the third quarter to help quiet a Memphis run and was active all over the court, including defending rookie Jaren Jackson Jr., who had been abusing starter Jared Dudley with his size mismatch.
Carroll’s recent play off the bench has just given the second unit another scoring option to pair with Spencer Dinwiddie and he also provides veteran leadership with an edge.
The 32-year-old made a headfirst dive across the scorer’s table in an attempt to save a ball from going out of bounds and went face-to-face with Memphis forward JaMychal Green after a testy exchange while jostling for rebounding position.
Those are plays that the younger guys take note of when they make decisions about how much effort they want to exert on a particular play.
Opposing defenses have gotten wise to Spencer Dinwiddie’s exploitation of opposing bigs after switches, as they’ve begun to hedge help defenders toward the paint to slow his runs to the rim.
Dinwiddie is averaging just 11.0 points in 25.0 minutes per game over his last four outings while shooting just 34.3 percent overall and 40.0 percent from 3-point range. He’s still getting 4.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds, but he’s also had 10 turnovers in that span.
That comes on the heels of a torrid 12-game stretch during which the fifth-year pro put up 23.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 31.1 minutes per game on 48.6 percent shooting while knocking down 39 percent from deep.
Most significantly, after getting to the foul line 7.8 times per game over that 12-game stretch, he’s averaged just 4.3 attempts in his last four games.
Dinwiddie needs to adjust to the adjustments.