Over the past couple of seasons, Vince Carter has been one of the hardest players in the NBA to put a finger on.
Some nights, he is almost a one man wrecking crew, doing what he wants, when he wants on the court.
During these games, he is arguably one of the best players in the NBA.
On other nights though, he is off his game, and many wonder if he is worth his huge contract.
During these games, he takes ill advised threes, he barely dishes the ball off, and can barely shoot the ball into an ocean.
In addition, he is a player that, during these streaks, is very moody to say the least.
To the point where he almost wears out his welcome, he becomes a headache for many, and is a headline waiting to happen.
While these headlines are nothing compared to some of those written about the many crybabies that the NBA has to offer year in and year out, they are usually not the kindest writings either.
So far this season though, these headlines have not appeared yet.
Carter has been on top of his game for the Nets night in, and night out, and as a result, he is getting his status back as an elite star in the NBA.
More importantly though, he has the Nets contending, along with the rest of the team from the management and coaching, all the way to the actual players on the court as well.
In what may be his best season though, he is scoring in bunches, and he is being a team player as well.
This combination has been almost non-existent for Carter throughout his career.
While always viewed as a great talent, he has never been able to put it all together at once.
There were some seasons where he would fill the nets, yet, his team would be awful.
In other seasons, he would not score as much since he was not the number one option, and his teams would be solid, but never among the best in the NBA.
This season though has been different up to this point. He is filling the nets nightly, he is being a team player, and, most importantly, his team has a winning record at 9-8 going into game action tonight.
All of this is occurring while he is being a team leader as well. One of the older guys on one of the youngest teams in the league, he is setting a positive example night in, and night out for the New Jersey Nets.
As a result, the team is playing crisp basketball, and this seems to only be the beginning.
While not viewed as a threat to the title yet, odder things have happened throughout the history of the NBA.
After all, the Knicks went to the NBA Finals as an eight seed almost a decade ago, right?
Since this is the case, Carter is quieting his critics nightly. He is just focusing on helping his team win, and as a result, he is having one of the best seasons of his career.
An All-Star nod will probably result, and as long as he keeps playing well, he will probably be a Net for at least the rest of this season.
As long as the Nets do not trade him away, they have a good chance at making the playoffs.
Unless the dreadful happens, which is the Nets crashing back to earth, which seems unlikely at this point, Carter will, by the end of the season, probably resurrect his image.
Will this happen? It remains to be seen, but as of now, Carter is just playing ball, and as a result, the critics are few and very far between for Carter right now.