Toronto Raptors: stop comparing DeMarre Carroll to Jerome Williams


Since today is National Dog Day (or something…) the Toronto Raptors took to Twitter to add some humour in the form of a tweet about the Junkyard Dog, Jerome Williams. Harmlessly, the team tweeted a picture of Williams beside a picture of the newly signed DeMarre Carroll. While the comparison makes sense in some ways, we should avoid calling Carroll ‘Junkyard Dog 2.0’ because he will be so much more than that identity for the Raptors.

To be fair, both players have a lot in common. They are both known for gritty defensive effort and a willingness to do whatever it takes to help their team succeed. They have also each played through significant injuries, valiantly putting their bodies on the line. And, probably most significantly, they both have become relative folk heroes for their scrappy play.

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However, Carroll is a much better player than Williams could ever be. This season, with more minutes and a more important role for the Raptors, he will get the chance to show the world what he can do. Still, even while playing in the Atlanta Hawks’ selfless system, he averaged 12.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, which is practically more than Williams ever managed in his nine-year career.

During Williams’ best season (2002-03), the emotionally charged small forward averaged 9.7 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Raptors. He earned that solid stat line after receiving significant use and rising to the challenge. Still, that was his ceiling, and Carroll has already surpassed that barrier with a more limited roll.

One of the main differences between the two players is Carroll’s offensive versatility. He can shoot 3-pointers or aggressively cut to the hoop. Last season, he shot 40% from long-range and 49% from the field. This production helped space the floor for his teammates and create dynamic scoring opportunities. Williams, on the other hand, went 0-7 on 3-pointers throughout his entire career. He was dynamic on the inside, resembling somewhere between Tyler Hansbrough and Chris Bosh, but that was about it.

The biggest thing to considering in this comparison is Carroll’s potential. He has been in the league for six years, but he only really got a chance to overcome the obscurity of sparse bench minutes during the 2013-14 season. This will be his third season earning considerable playing time, and he has already shown an immense ability learn and improve. If he can fill the lane and grab a few more rebounds while upping his scoring via more touches, it will be impossible to mention the ‘Junkyard Dog 2.0’ moniker without sounding silly.

Maybe it is time to come up with a new nickname.

Next: Terrence Ross and Norman Powell: let the battle begin

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