39-year old Vince Carter may not be interested in competing for another dunk title but if he keeps doing what he’s been doing over the past week, the 2015/16 NBA Teammate Of The Year Award winner might be competing for the 2016/17 6th Man of The Year Award.
On Monday, Carter joined the elite class of Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing as the only players in NBA history to put up 20 points and 5+ rebounds off the bench at the age of 39; Patrick Ewing – as a member of the Orlando Magic – did it back in 2001 and MJ did it twice in 2002. I do have to mention that MJ, mainly a starter, did have a 20 & 5 game 31 times in his final NBA season, including 17 times at the age of 40.
Carter’s 20 point performance is also his 2nd 20 point performance in the past three games and in the first instance, he had five assists and 2 blocks. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Carter is averaging 19 points on 59% shooting over his past three games and if ignore his donut against the Hornets earlier this month, he’s averaging 18.7 points a game on 66% shooting! The Grizzlies are also 3-0 when Carter scores more than 18.
Am I going overboard and over analyzing a handful games in the first month of a long NBA season? Maybe. But you have to admit, the numbers from a shooting guard with 18 years of NBA mileage and about to turn 40 in a couple of months is praise worthy and if you saw how he’s been scoring – deep 3-pointers, running skyhooks, pump fakes on 20-year old athletic freaks followed by dunks – you might be feeling the same excitement and optimism me and the people of Grind City are feeling right now.
It’s not Vinsanity but it’s borderline crazy.