Carter struggles to find rhythm and 4th quarter playing time

Feb 14, 2011, 7:43 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Vince Carter used to be called ‘half man, half amazing’, it may be time to send out a search party for the latter half.

Since arriving in the Valley, Carter has struggled to find a rhythm offensively. He’s shooting just .422 percent from the floor, a percentage that ranks as the second worst in his career, and .738 percent from the free throw line, the worst of his career. His 14.3 points and 1.7 assists per game, through 23 games with the Suns, are also the worst averages of his career.

At first, many wrote off the slow start in Phoenix as a byproduct of adjusting to his new teammates and surroundings. A reasonable argument until you realize that the eight time All-Star has been traded in the middle of the season before without issue.

In 2004, 20 games into the season, the struggling New Jersey Nets sent Carter to the Orlando Magic. In the first 23 games with his new team, he averaged 26.7 points and 5.4 assists. A far cry from what he’s managed in the Valley.

In Carter’s career he’s scored six or fewer points 37 times. Five of those occurrences have come as a member of the Suns. Since scoring 33 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier in this month, he hasn’t scored more than 10 points and hasn’t made more than three field goals in a game.

Those numbers have earned Carter significantly less playing time. He hasn’t been on the floor for more than 20 minutes in the last three games and has been on the bench for the entire fourth quarter of the team’s last two games.

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