TORONTO — Nets forward DeMarre Carroll skipped what was viewed as his “homecoming” game against the Raptors on Friday night at Air Canada Centre because he was being rested after logging heavy minutes recently, and Allen Crabbe sat out because of left knee soreness.
They were replaced in the starting lineup by shooting guard Caris LeVert and small forward Joe Harris.
The decision to rest Carroll might have spared him the wrath of Raptors fans who were upset by remarks Carroll made criticizing their style of play and how much DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry dominated the ball in Carroll’s previous two seasons before he was traded to the Nets last summer.
With the Nets, Carroll is having a career season, averaging 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. Asked if it’s because Carroll is healthier than when he struggled with knee problems in Toronto, Raptors coach Dwane Casey said, “I’m sure that’s it. He has played in a similar style in Atlanta as he’s playing now with the way the guys are playing in Brooklyn. That could be a better fit versus what we played last year.
“He came in here and just couldn’t get healthy, couldn’t stay healthy. It’s disappointing we didn’t see the DeMarre Carroll the way he’s playing right now. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Casey was understanding about the comments Carroll made. “I understood what he was saying and [couldn’t] care less,” Casey said. “A guy was going out the door. He’s a super young man, a fine young man, a great family. I didn’t take umbrage at all.”
Crabbe’s been off
Crabbe shot 2-for-15 from the field in his previous two games. Asked if the knee soreness contributed to his poor shooting, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said, “The good thing is it’s nothing structural, but I think it does need a little rest . . . Don’t want to risk it. We expect both of them to be ready for Sunday [against the Pacers at Barclays Center].”