Tough night for Carter means big loss for Nets

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Flashback to three weeks ago when the Nets were in
Toronto and
vitriol and hate were raining down on Vince Carter. Calm and collected, Carter
made every one of those angry Toronto fans spit fire with one of the best
performances of his career.
Last night, Carter had his worst.
Some Raptors’ fans will debate that and probably can point to a
few games, particularly Games 4 and 6 against the Cavaliers in the 2007
playoffs. But statistically, this was the worst full game of Carter’s
career.
Carter couldn’t hit a shot. This isn’t an exaggeration, or play on words.
He couldn’t. Didn’t. None. He missed all 13 of his field-goal tries in an
embarrassing 101-79 loss to his old team at Izod Center.
How bad was it?As if 0-for-13 doesn’t tell the story, his three points
matched his Net low. And it’s the first time he’s played at least 10 minutes
that he didn’t make a basket. That’s why it’s the worst shooting night of his
career.
Twice he’s gone scoreless, but he played three and four minutes in those
games due to injury. So this was the worst shooting night of his 11-year
career.
Vince’s thoughts?
My guess is he’s not happy. Who would be? But I can’t say for sure
because as far as any of us can remember it was the first time in Carter’s Nets’
career that he skipped out before talking to the media. Jason Kidd would do that
a few times a year, but never Carter so that tells you how disgusted he was. It
definitely had to be worse for him that it happened against Toronto.
This is going to make for an interesting game North of the Border on
Monday. If Toronto fans are smart they won’t say a word or
may be wise to cheer Carter. Their ire seems to get hi m up.
Overall, though, this was an awful performance by the home team. It
wasn’t just Carter that damaged the rims, backboards, shooting percentages and
scoring averages. It was everyone.
The Nets had their worst shooting night of the season – 26-of-83 (31.3
percent) – and lowest output. Take Carter out of the equation, and the Nets
still only score 76 points and their shooting goes up to 37.1 percent.
You’re not going to win too often with those numbers. It’s little wonder
the Raptors led this game by 31. The surprise was that it was a game with 21
minutes left and the Nets shooting 16-for-51 at the time.
“Everybody goes through rough nights and this was a tough night for
him,” said Josh Boone, who shot a sizzling 2-for-2. “But it was a rough night
for the team.
“They took away the middle from us and we weren’t making shots. That’s
what it came down to: we weren’t making shots. They were getting run outs,
fast-break points easy transition baskets.”
Carter got none of that. He got a free throw at 8:21 that was met with a
loud sarcastic ovation. In Canada, they probably were booing and
then laughing and then wishing they could be here.
In a few days they’ll get a chance to express to Carter how they feel.
You know what they’re hoping for on that night – for a repeat of this night. But
Carter probably will want a repeat of three weeks ago. He’s probably hopin
g for
the boos and chants.

Al Iannazzone covers the Nets for The Record (Bergen County, N.J.).

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