Before DeMarre Carroll’s injury sidelined him late in the Atlanta Hawks playoff run, one could argue he was their most valuable player through the first 16 games of the NBA playoffs. Carroll was already having a breakout season for the team that finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference and he was averaging 14.6 points in just under 35 minutes per playoff game.
Since the ’09-’10 season when Carroll was drafted by Memphis, Carroll had been fighting to find an identity in the NBA. Bouncing around from team to team, seeing scrap minutes, he wasn’t a major contributor. Then he went to Atlanta and his career got a boost from the Hawks coaching staff and in particular one coach, who took DeMarre’s game to a new level and showed confidence in the scrappy player known as the Junkyard Dog.
That coach was Quin Snyder. In an open letter to Atlanta fans, published by theplayerstribune.com, Carroll thanked them for their support and also thanked the coaching staff and singled out Snyder.
“The biggest reason why I was able to play my best basketball in Atlanta is because of the organization’s player development. All of the coaches worked hard to make every guy on this roster better, and they deserve a lot of credit for our team’s improvement this year…And then there was Quin Snyder, who was the first coach who took me under his wing while he was an assistant here.”
“The big difference between regular NBA players and superstars isn’t just talent, but the way they train. Quin and I just kind of clicked right away when I came to the Hawks, and he began working with me to develop skills that I hadn’t really touched before. His belief in me built up my confidence so much.”
Read more from Carroll, by clicking on the link above.