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Cleveland • When DeMarre Carroll learned he would replace Marvin Williams in the starting lineup Wednesday, the self-proclaimed "Junkyard Dog" wasn’t worried about the move fracturing locker room relations.
Or neighborly ones.
Despite being just one month younger than Williams (both are 26), Carroll refers to the former No. 2 overall pick as "my big vet." It’s the product of a relationship born from proximity. The two small forwards defend each other in practice, and are next-door neighbors in a downtown Salt Lake City apartment complex.
"When I’m bumping my music," Carroll said. "I don’t get into trouble because he’s my next-door neighbor."
While Williams was not available before the game to discuss being replaced in the starting lineup, Carroll said Williams told him to "get out there and do what I need to do."
Before Wednesday, Williams was averaging career lows of 7.8 points and 3.7 rebounds. When told he was moving to the bench, Williams took the news in stride, coach Tyrone Corbin said.
"He’s been great," Corbin said. "All of our guys have been really good."
Carroll said Williams, despite his struggles, has been the consummate teammate.
"He’s a good guy," Carroll said. "If you had to say who is one of the best teammates on the team, easily have to go with Marv. Everybody says he’s a great teammate."
And a neighbor, it sounds like.
Williams’ mentorship extends well beyond on the court, Carroll said. Williams lives with a personal chef, and Carroll said Williams often sends food over.
And he expects those will probably keep coming.
"He understands it’s a basketball move," Carroll said, "and I understand it’s a basketball move. We don’t let things on the court affect [our] relationship off the court."
In his first season with the Cavaliers, former Jazz swingman C.J. Miles is averaging 11.2 points per game — the second-highest average of his career.
The former Jazz second-round draft pick spent the first seven years of his career with the Jazz, fading in and out of favor with Jerry Sloan and, later, Corbin.
However, Corbin said Wednesday he enjoys seeing former players after they leave the Jazz.
"I was with C.J. when he first came into the league," said Corbin, then a Jazz assistant. "I remember his initial workout before the draft. So he’s grown a lot since then."
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