TORONTO — DeMarre Carroll sat at his locker room stall, on his padded chair, looking at the floor. He was draped in a towel, despondent about the Raptors’ most recent loss, one of their most disappointing defeats of the year. There was more to the vacant look than that, though.
Carroll has been battling injuries — first plantar fasciitis, and now a knee contusion that he cannot quite kick — all season long. That injury limited him to just 24 minutes, while Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, exactly the type of physical wing player that Carroll is supposed to be defending, went off against the Raptors. In one of the most memorable performances against the Raptors in franchise history, Butler broke Michael Jordan’s Bulls record by scoring 40 points in the second half, 42 in total in Chicago’s 115-113 win. Had Carroll been healthy and capable of playing 30 or more minutes, that number probably would not have been quite so high.