Jan 26, 2011, 12:05 PM EDT
In his first 10 games as part of the Suns, the dry air and high-octane offense in Phoenix seemed to agree with Vince Carter. He averaged 18.9 points per game and appeared comfortable back in his role as high-scoring gunner. A space he occupied for much of his career (you can debate amongst yourselves if that was a detriment to winning or not).
But in the past four games he has averaged 7.5 points per game. Since the Suns are not going to be stopping anyone defensively (dead last in the league in defensive efficiency) they need to be outscoring teams. They need the points.
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic asked Carter when they might see the scoring phenom side of Carter again.
“I plan on being that,” Carter said of being a go-to scorer, like when he started the trip with 29 points at New York. “In my mind, it was a rough trip. It took me outside of what they want me to do and what I feel I should be…”
“It happens sometimes with a team like this where a lot of guys can score and Grant (Hill) and J.D. (Jared Dudley) are playing well,” Carter said. “It’s all about patience.
“You have to play through it. You have to do the other things regardless.” That’s why I made a conscious effort to rebound the ball until I get myself back.”
Carter is playing through some left knee pain, something he tweaked on a dunk in Philadelphia Monday. That may slow the return of the gunner. Which is bad news for the Suns because they need the Vince Carter of old. They need the points.
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