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Vince Carter is one of three Tar Heels on the Mavericks
Last year's championship brought a ring to a former UNC player In Brendan Haywood. Now, there are two more former Heels on the roster, in Vince Carter and Brandan Wright. None of the three have numbers worthy of much attention, and unfortunately, it looks like Carter's years of Hall of Fame-worthy production are well behind him.
Unlike his UNC teammate, Antawn Jamison, Carter's production has slid sharply off, and while still an effective player at times, there doesn't seem to be any hope that he'll regain anything more than a few good stretches here and there. Not that much more can be expected from the nearly 35-year-old, an eight-time All-Star with bad knees. However, he did show Emeka Okafor that he can still leap if necessary, as he posterized the New Orleans Center with a moment of Vinsanity on Saturday.
On the season, Carter is averaging 8.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 2 APG, shooting 36 percent from the field. All numbers are career lows, as are his 21 minutes per game.
Will this be Carter's last season? It's been an absolute pleasure watching his career, and he will go down as one of the game's all time most exciting players. Fifty years from now, he will still be remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, dunkers of all time.
Haywood's season is also seeing a few career lows, as he averages 4.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG and only 0.8 BPG. The big man has seen his minutes dwindle, and his career looks to be nearing an end as well as his production slides. After only nine games, there's time for the 32-year-old to turn it around and get back into the swing of things on the defense end, but perhaps the most important thing to do for now is to mentor the young Brandan Wright in the way of blocking shots in the NBA.
Speaking of Wright, the lanky 24-year-old doesn't have much opportunity to play in Dallas, and the only hope of that changing will be with significant fatigue up the depth chart among the older players on the roster as the season wears on. He has played in only three games this season and hasn't done much of note in his very limited minutes. He is averaging 3.7 PPG and 1 RPG. His field goal percentage of 87 percent is impressive, but he's only taken six shots.
Past Four Games
Saturday, January 7
Dallas 96-81 New Orleans
Carter: 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Haywood: 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal
Wright: 5 points, 1 rebound
Thursday, January 5
San Antonio 93-71 Dallas
Carter: 6 points, 2 rebounds
Haywood: 6 points, 6 rebounds
Wright: 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 block
Wednesday, January 4
Dallas 98-89 Phoenix
Carter: 7 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
Haywood: 5 points, 12 rebounds 1 block, 1 steal
Wright: Did not play
Monday, January 2
Dallas 100-87 Oklahoma City
Carter: 14 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
Haywood: 6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks
Wright: Did not play
1/10: Detroit (away)
1/11: Boston (away)