For the past season and half, the magic have been criticized for bringing in Vince Carter; who supposedly has been the reason as to why the Magic have not been able to get over the hump. Those two missed free throws in the clutch against Boston in game 2 of the ECF might sum up his career perfectly, but it does not sum up what Carter is still capable of doing.
Anyway, Vince Carter is still a prolific scorer, but the Magic have technically squandered that with their four out one in system. Carter is a terrific three point shooter, but he is best making plays for himself, and his ability to do that allows him creates plays for others. Trying to make a player of his caliber a third option is ridiculous. Vince Carter can certainly pass like Hedo, and I honestly thought that he could effectively replace Hedo. The thing is, I have no idea what Orlando was thinking would happen to Rashard Lewis with Carter, a guy known as a high usage rate player, taking away opportunities from him in his advanced age. Hedo dominated the ball in Orlando once Nelson went down and this helped Lewis' game because Hedo drew the double team with Howard lurking in the paint. Either way, Orlando thought a guy with Carter's me-first attitude would be able to make a similar contribution as Hedo when the two couldnt have more different game styles. Also, Carter was constantly injured in his time in Orlando, which took away from his overall effectiveness. SVG was starting to figure out what to do with Carter in the preseason as Carter's FG% was at 60, and he filled a role similar to what Richardson was able to do last season. That third really efficient scorer that would tip the overall balance of the game into your favor. Now SVG has tried to go with that during the regular season, and for the most part, I think it has worked. Carter is averaging 15 ppg on 47% shooting, not bad if you ask me. But much like last season, Carter has been dealing with injuries, and isn't playing 100% yet.
Before coming to Orlando about two years ago, Carter was still balling down in NJ, and that was without Jason Kidd. Carter is still incredibly talented, and incredibly athletic. You know all those lobs that Nash and Hill had to Jrich? I think we will be seeing more of that from Carter. Having Carter as the number two option helps our team, because unlike Jrich, Carter has the ability to dominate a game with relying solely on jumpshots. Namely, Carter can create off the dribble for himself and for others. He knows how to take it to the basket, and I like that the Suns took the risk on Carter. His attitude, like Alex mentioned is deplorable, and this will be an opportunity to see the effect and influence Nash and Hill have on motivating other guys. Being that Carter is more of a talent than Jrich, I think Carter can make bring this team back into the playoff race. Not only that, but Carter still has the ability to rebound and defend on a consistent basis. Jrich had not been contributing his normal rebounding magic (Though, Having Lopez box out really helps) and Carter's regular season rebounding contribution will be an improvement in that category. At 6'6 and mobility, Carter still has what it takes to be a good rebounder, but this all hinges on his motivation.
And I realize this, but it is my belief that the coaching staff can fix up those bruises and get carter play harder. When Carter entered the league a lot of people had high hopes on him. One of the most athletic prospects at the two slot and a fantastic shooting stroke, a lot of people compared him to Jordan, and that potential was well within the realm of possibility. Carter has been a massiveve upset in his twelve plus years in the league, but capabilities considered, Carter is the most talented Two Guard we have had here in the desert. Jrich was perfect for our system, but hopefully, the respect that Nash demands , Carter will try his hardest. He can be the difference, and he certainly is not yet a corpse. I fully expect him to put up huge stats, yet, I suspect these stats to be "empty" stats; meaning that his 22 ppg might not have a tangible effect on the game.
Anyway, this post might be a bit redundant, but I felt that it was necessary to write this because Carter can still make a difference. He played incredibly well alongside Carter, and the Suns can literally funnel the offense through him, and ignore Nash and still be effective. He will probably continue to be that Me-first kind of guy that you hate, but under a new atmosphere, maybe he can turn it around; kind of like how Nate Robinson can be relied upon to direct the Celtics offense. So there you have it, and hopefully, I didn't bore you to death.