41, 43, 43, 34, 32 ó no, these are not the respective ages of the washed up Backstreet Boys; they are just a few of Vince Carterís point totals in February, a month in which he has averaged a marvelous 30.2 points per game.
Seeing Vinsanity run rampant in the Garden State has undoubtedly been tough for Toronto Raptors fans to swallow. Since general manager Rob Babcock dealt the former slam dunk contest champion to the Nets on Dec. 17, Carter has been nothing short of dominant. Looking at his statistical splits between Toronto and New Jersey, youíd swear you were gazing at numbers from two completely different players.
In 20 games with the Dinos this season, Carter chipped in 15.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per contest; through his first 32 games in a Nets uniform, he exploded to the tune of 26.4 points, 5.9 boards, and 4.7 assists per game, while also upping his threepoint percentage by a whopping 10 per cent.
Is Vince proving true the rumours that he ďdidnít tryĒ during his final days in T.O.? Were the Raptors too hasty in shipping out the greatest player their franchise has known?
Truthfully, we shouldnít have expected anything but dominance from Carter once he joined the Nets. Itís common for an athlete to excel in a new environment, particularly after being traded away by another team.
Someone like Vince Carter clearly had something to prove after being run out of Canada, and upped his game to show the basketball world that he still had plenty of talent left in his slender frame.
Unfortunately for Vince, itís equally common for an athlete to revert to his former patterns ó or worse ó after growing accustomed to new surroundings.
After losing his job to Tom Brady a few seasons ago, then- Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe was dealt to the Buffalo Bills, where he was a deep ball throwing, 4,000 passing yard machine ó for one season. He has aged, yes, but you donít go from huge numbers to anemic ones over a single summer.
Bledsoe simply followed a pattern common to freshly traded players looking to reaffirm their abilities, a path upon which Mr. Vince Carter himself has just embarked: post monster numbers shortly after being traded, then return to previous production levels shortly thereafter.
In other words, donít expect the current serious case of Vinsanity to last much longer than the remainder of this season. His stellar play of late doesnít change his physical makeup; his body is just as brittle as it ever was in Toronto, and it will probably break down again in the near future.
For all we know, heís playing through some aches and pains that would have kept him in an Armani suit with front court seats at most Raptors games.