It is extremely rare for a player that many considered overrated to prove his detractors wrong. However, Vince Carter has done just that even without playing especially well so far this season.
Vinsanity once rocked the house in Toronto, but his ugly exit from that team to the Nets appeared to tarnish his reputation. However, Nets fans loved him. He was always the consummate professional for New Jersey and often the main reason to go see the Nets.
Last year the Nets won 34 games. Devin Harris was an all-star and Brook Lopez was in the running for rookie of the year. Vince Carter was the main man though. His leadership helped every player on that team play their best. Let me repeat this; the Nets won 34 games.
This year the Nets are off to a record worst start. Even though the team has played hard most of the season, they really only had a chance to win maybe three games. The Nets lost to the Timberwolves on opening night only to see the Timberwolves lose their next 15 games. The Nets are one of three victims of the Knicks who look disinterested at best on most nights.
An 0-17 start is an embarrassment. The Nets owner is the culprit. He forced the trade of Carter to save money to make it easier to sell the team. There is no doubt that the Nets would not be winless if Vince were on the team. This Nets team might be lucky to win 10 games at this rate.
So, how is Vince doing in Orlando? On a team with Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Jameer Nelson, he is leading the team in scoring. All of his numbers are down, but that was to be expected since he is no longer the main focus. Orlando is in first place and has the second best point differential in the conference. For those who are unfamiliar with point differential, it is probably the best statistic to determine the relative strength of a team. Only the Celtics are better in the Eastern Conference.
The irony is that even though Vince is the leading scorer on the Magic, he is still getting no credit for being a team player. With the Nets, he was the ultimate team player and it is clear from up in New Jersey, that Vince is meshing his game to the Magic team concept.
Vince has been a great fit for the Magic, and his loss is the reason the Nets are winless and a good coach in Lawrence Frank is looking for a new job.