Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeMarre Carroll Finding His Rhythm at the Right Time for Toronto Raptors

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeMarre Carroll Finding His Rhythm at the Right Time for Toronto Raptors

Article excerpt

Raptors' Carroll finding rhythm at right time

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TORONTO - It was only about a month ago that DeMarre Carroll worried that he'd never bounce back in time to play in the post-season.

Now, he's finding his rhythm at just the right time.

The athletic forward was a huge part of the Raptors' overtime Game 2 victory Thursday night that sent the second-round playoff series to Miami tied at one win apiece, scoring a team-high 21 points.

"It feels real good, man," Carroll said. "For me to be able to be back, and miss that many games, and only play, what. . . a total of 10 games (since his return), to finally get my rhythm back, it's amazing."

The Raptors acquired the gritty defender and solid scorer in the off-season, but his much-anticipated first year with Toronto was derailed by injuries almost from the outset. He finally missed a 42-game stretch after having knee surgery.

The 29-year-old said his comeback was both hard work and a lot of trust on the part of coach Dwane Casey.

"He's the one that put me out there. He could have just sat me on the bench and played me spot minutes, but he said, 'Get out there, play your minutes, and get your rhythm back,'" Carroll said, before boarding the team flight to Miami for Saturday's Game 3.

Carroll has started eight of nine playoff games, and was key in defending Pacers star Paul George in the opening round against Indiana. His ability to push the pace will be big as the Raptors hope to wear down the Heat.

"I think we can play faster, it's more to my game. Playing faster, and movement, and running, and doing all those type of things," he said. "If we can do that, and stop thinking so much and being stagnant, we can win this series. …

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