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Today's Player: DeMarre Carroll as The Tenacinator
Little was said when the Hawks seemingly secretly agreed to a contract with free agent forward DeMarre Carroll two seasons ago. Sure, there was talk of the new Junkyard Dog playing solid minutes off the bench for the Utah Jazz, but nobody knew for sure what he would be as a starter.
All Carroll did was immediately become the defensive glue to what Coach Mike Budenholzer wanted done on the court. Carroll's tenacity on the defensive end was felt when he got injured and it looked like nobody else on the Hawks knew how to guard the wing by comparison.
Carroll's impact was such, and his absence due to injury exposed so much, that the Hawks top offseason priority for Danny Ferry was to fortify the wing defense to compliment and support Carroll's efforts. Thus the acquisitions of Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore.
It was no token inclusion when Carroll was named, along with his starting teammates Horford, Millsap, Korver and Teague, as Co-Players of the month by the NBA for the month of January, a month which saw the Hawks go undefeated. Carroll's effort and defense, as well as his improved offense as well, is a nightly key to the Hawks massive success.