It was just last season when it seemed like Vince Carter might be in the twilight of his NBA career. It had been over a decade since he was hanging on the rim by his elbow in the Slam Dunk Contest and his performance on the court was slipping as well.
Carter averaged just 10.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting just 41.1 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three. However, last season was fool’s gold for those looking for the end of Carter’s career.
This season, Carter seems to have more comfortably assimilated into the sixth-man role for the Dallas Mavericks and his play has reflected that. This season, Carter is averaging 13 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in the same amount of minutes per game that he played last season. Moreover, Carter is also shooting 42.9 percent from the field has his fourth-highest three-point percentage of his career at 39.7 percent.
Carter has also shown flashes of the athleticism that made him great as a younger player. Every once in a while, he drives down the lane and unleashes a dunk that causes déjà vu for everyone watching. It may not be something he can do on every play, but it’s definitely still there.
The man who was once “Vinsanity” is still there as well. He may not be averaging 20 points per game and doing things that he used to do in his first few years in the league, but that’s not what the Mavs need him to be. They need him to be a consistent sixth-man that is able to hit outside shots and put points on the board. It may not be flashy, but Carter still isn’t at the end.