So why exactly wasn't DeMarre Carroll in the game for the Atlanta Hawks on the final possession of Game 3? We still don't have a very good answer. Carroll told WSB's Zach Klein Saturday night that he had pulled himself from the lineup saying that he didn't feel comfortable.
Carroll tried to clarify those postgame statements on Sunday to ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz but instead deferred to head coach Mike Budenholzer.
"I know a lot of people are going to say a lot of things because I'm supposed to be the top defender on the team, but I guess y'all can talk to Coach and he can answer the rest of the questions," Carroll said. "Me, personally, I have a lot of faith in my guys. We have a lot of good defenders on this team. That's the beauty of this team: We're not selfish."
Atlanta's starters played sparingly in the fourth quarter as Budenholzer went with his bench which was responsible for them having a chance in the first place. He pointed out that Carroll had not been in the game save for a single possession during the entire fourth quarter.
"Considering [Carroll] hadn't played the whole fourth quarter -- I think he went in for a possession -- again, there's a timeout," Budenholzer said. "You talk. You discuss. And you have to make decisions.
"I think sometimes we take players out of the game who don't want to come out, and sometimes we probably put players in that want to go in. Coaches have to make decisions, and that's part of the game."
So why did Carroll feel the need to make the comments to WSB following the game. Was it a situation where he was trying to shield his coach from blame? It is possible I guess, but we still don't have a real clear answer as to what happened. Budenholzer mentions that Carroll had sat out most of the fourth quarter, but he was in on the defensive possession prior to the final shot. If he trusted him at that point then why not trust him with the game tied?