Vince Carter, The Wise Man In Memphis

Mar 13, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Carter (15) takes a shot during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 113-93. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Carter (15) takes a shot during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 113-93. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

Not only has Vince Carter had his most effective season as a Grizzly, he is going to be their biggest weapon in the playoffs.

Vince Carter never shies away from the spotlight or any high-pressure situation. When the game is on the line, he will take the ball by force, put it in the elevated orange circle, then thank you for trying to stop him. His attitude is infectious. His three’s spark arenas. He’s the greatest veteran journeyman of all-time.

Well, this is it: the NBA Playoffs – where stars are born and superstars are emblazoned in history.

We will also see if this Grizzlies “hiccup-season” was truly just a hiccup, or if the team is headed forced in a new direction under coach Dave Fizdale. Regardless, the step needs to be taken and Vince Carter needs to be a part of it.

The 40-year old…FORTY-YEAR-OLD, has been an underrated asset for the Grizzlies. Memphis improves in effective field goal percentage, total rebound percentage, assist percentage with Carter on the court. More importantly, they sported  a +5.3 ORtg increase with VC.

As a veteran impact player, Vince Carter has been able to find ways to make his team better all season. His pre- and post- All-Star break stats are identical. The consistency, given the usage, is something to be appreciated by itself. Although, the usage is at a career low 14.9 percent, he has managed to have his most effective season as a Grizzly. He’s also experiencing positives in both Offensive and Defensive Win Shares, 1.9 and 2.1 respectively – improving all three years in Memphis. Grizzly fans, appreciate what the man is doing and hope he can continue to be a factor in the playoffs.

Against The Spurs

The Spurs are one of those teams with only one superstar but enough depth to field “Non-Starter” rotation that would still win 30 games. They possess the stellar combination of defensive playmakers and chemistry. Pau Gasol, Dewayne Dedmon and Kawhi Leonard aren’t going to be forgiving against the Grizzlies. Aside from those three, the Spurs are vulnerable in individual defensive situations. Manu Ginobli, Patty Mills and Jonathan Simmons can be weak spots in the defense. That’s where Vince Carter comes in.

Vince won’t beat them with athleticism. That aspect of his game is clearly fading. But with the loss of his emphatic dunking, he’s adapted into spot-up shooting role, greatly extending his career and clear obvious effectiveness. He must channel his two decades of experience throughout the

Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

rest of the bench. In other words, when Carter takes shots, he needs to make them. That may seem like too much pressure, but if anyone can handle it, it’s Vince. In 21 seasons, he’s on the cusp of being “Vince Carter: the NBA player” longer than he was “Vince Carter: the man from Florida.” With over two decades of experience, he’s going to need to be one step ahead of the team that plays one step ahead.

Experience is key in the playoffs. If Carter can effectively produce with his minutes, it will reduce pressure from the rest of the younger bench players. The Grizzlies age is a curse, as it is a blessing. The cornerstones are aging and the role players lack experience. Vince Carter will continue to help these players, but The Veteran can only do so much.

Playoff Prediction

The Grizzlies backcourt is a wreck with Mike Conley and Vince Carter standing out as the two “safe-spots,” something Grizzly fans should be common with. They’re two players you can count on to not turn the ball over. The Grizzly bench can’t depend on the athleticism of Wayne Selden just yet. Over time, Carter traded in his jump for a jumpshot. Which really isn’t all that true seeing how he still throws it down every now and again, but you know what I mean. His jumper will be his biggest weapon against the Spurs.

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Carter is going to be called upon frequently. Now that Gasol and Conley are back to offer better spacing than last year’s playoffs, Carter will continue to impact the game like he has this entire season. Because of his age, the Spurs might stick a less agile defender on him, something that could work in his favor. If the match-up is right, Carter will exploit feeble backcourt defenders. Offensively, the wide variety of moves comes with the experience and will be hard to stop for unskilled defenders.

Truthfully, he has struggled to find a consistent shot, but every three he takes looks like it has VC3 stamped all over it. The Grizzlies don’t have a good chance of beating the Spurs, but if Vince Carter can get hot, it will certainly shake things up.