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NBA / Apr 21, 2010 / 3:49 pm

Vince Carter needs a big Game 2

Vince Carter, Dime #21

The playoff-opening win of Orlando’s Eastern Conference title defense was defined by Jameer Nelson‘s shot-making (32 pts) and Dwight Howard‘s shot-blocking (9 blks). Almost lost in the shuffle was how badly Vince Carter played in his postseason debut with the Magic.

Acquired last summer and expected to bring an explosive element to the offense in contrast to the style of Hedo Turkoglu, Carter was up and down as he averaged 16.6 points in the regular season. In Game 1 against Charlotte, Carter shot 4-for-19 from the field and finished with 12 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

Seeing as Bobcats coach Larry Brown came into this series with a clear game plan for defending Howard (5 points in Game 1), and Nelson can’t be counted on to drop 30 every night, Carter will have to step it up, starting with Game 2 tonight. From the Orlando Sentinel:

Carter had plenty of open looks, but his shots just didn’t fall.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he’d like to see Carter attack the basket more, especially when he’s guarded by Charlotte’s big men following pick-and-roll plays.

“But if we can get him the same shots on Wednesday night,” Van Gundy said, “I would actually feel pretty good about that.”

Carter spent much of the game guarding Bobcats F Gerald Wallace, and Wallace said on Monday that the Bobcats emphasized making Carter work on defense.

“I think we did a great job last night of making him play defense, making him work on the defensive end,” said Wallace, who finished with 25 points. “With him having to burn energy on defense, he doesn’t have as much energy to extend on offense.”

While Vince’s critics have pegged him as a playoff choker, the fact is he has career postseason averages of 25.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He’s been here before and put in work — and this is the most realistic chance he’s ever had at a championship.

Does Vince need to score 20 ppg for Orlando to win a championship?

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  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitooo

    ALL CARTER NEED TO DO IS MAKE SMART PLAYS AND KNOW WHEN ITS HIS TURN TO DO WHAT HE DOES WITH THE BALL. AND THAT DOESNT MEAN SHOOTING THREE POINT JUMPERS WITH SOMEONE IN YOU FACE FADING AWAY WITH THE LIL LEG KICK OUT. WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT IT OFF THE PICK OR OFF THE DRIBBLE PENETRATION, 1-2 STEP, GET READY FOR LIFT OFF, WHOS IN FRONT OF ME? I DONT CARE IM VINCE MOTHA “F”ing CARTER…NAW MEAN

  • K Dizzle

    Nope. Matter fact, Magic don’t even need Vince for the first 2 series. They gonna need him in the conference fin als and the finals to offset the damage done by the perimeter players of the other contendin squads and to take pressure off Dwight. If the Magic expect Jameer and Pietrus to stay on the tear they been on, they sadly mistaken. That being said, it’s only been one game…

  • QQ

    I expect him to come through. After that 48 points versus NO where he attacked the rim, my view of Carter changed. He CAN change. He CAN make the smart move of doing things that can help his team.

  • JAY

    QQ’s comment is exactly what I alluded to a couple of months back. He’ll be his typical soft self for a string of games then he’ll have a monster game, taking it to the hole, not settling for jumpers, etc… then he’ll come back down to earth and be soft again for another 10-15 games. Meanwhile, that ONE game where he abuses his defender, his fans and supporters will be saying “See! He still has it!! He can do it!”
    At some point his current fans have to see that it’s not that he CAN’T do it… it’s that he WON’T do it. At least not for an extended amount of time. He’ll have a great game, maybe two. But that’s all you’ll get from Half-a-Man.
    Earlier in his career he said he didn’t want to be known as just a dunker…. well he got his wish. He’s known as the illest in-game dunker to ever play in the league, who for some mysterious reason, shoots jumpshots all day.

  • QQ

    @ JAY:

    You watched the game right? VC attacked the rim and played with fire. You knew that I was one of the staunchest VC haters here (and I’m still am sometimes), but you gotta give him the chance. You’re right, it’s the will that’s important cause he can certainly do amazing stuff, but so far this season, especially towards the end, he proved haters like me wrong. It’s a ‘wait and see’ game with VC, and I guess it’s where the hate comes from, but our team is too stacked for us to worry one player ruining it.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitooo

    HE DID EXACTLY WHAT I SAID HE’D DO….

  • JAY

    @QQ
    You’re right about it being a wait and see game with Vince that’s why he annoys me sooooooooo much. I really wish he played with passion and the cockiness the true stars play with. If he did, he would still be one of the best in the league. But he doesn’t, so he’s not. If Redick can step in and play just as well as Vince, there’s something wrong. I don’t mean to take anything away from Redick but we’re talking Dr. Funk, Half-Man-Half-Amazing here.
    I did watch the game but I’m still not con-vinced (pun intended). It works for him in Orlando because the big guy in the paint can hold it down defensively when Vince gets beat to the hole every play.