Everyone Hates Vince Carter

I am not the biggest Vince Carter fan in the world, bit I just don’t get when so-called NBA experts consistently hammer Vince as if he is the worst player on the planet. For example, here is a recent quote from Bill Simmons aka ESPN’s Sports Guy:

“I don’t blame Kidd for throwing a hissy fit — I would have done the same if I had to play with Vince Carter.”

Vince Carter

Stop smiling Vince, don’t you know the media and fans hate you.

Of course, there were 5 more derogatory jabs at Vince in this article so that Simmons could meet his anti-Vince quota. And he is not the only one. Virtually everyone is convinced that Vince Carter is a terrible basketball player, worthless human being and overall piece of garbage. Sure he’s done a few bonehead things (most notably, pouting for the first 20 games in Toronto during the 04-05 season) and he hasn’t won that many playoff games. Although, he has won 3 more playoff series than Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Carmelo Anthony combined.

But did this guy steal change from handicapped children or something that I missed? There are a number of players who are terrible guys in the NBA and there are a lot of players making WAY too much money given their performance. Guys who are way worse than Vince and guys who are way more overpaid. Why Vince gets treated so poorly by virtually the entire media just baffles me. I think its just lazy journalists taking the easy road. Its easy to just blame Vince because everyone will accept it.

Well, lets take an unbiased look at the effect Vince has had on each team he has played on since 2002-2003. The stat I want to use is adjusted +/-. According to www.82games.com: “Adjusted +/- ratings indicate how many additional points are contributed to a team’s scoring margin by a given player in comparison to the league-average player over the span of a typical game (100 offensive and defensive possessions).” Basically, it is a statistic used to measure each players effect on his team’s performance when he is in the game. For example… If a player had an adjusted +/- of +2.0 while he was on court and -2.0 off court that would give him a net adjusted +/- of +4.0. Obviously, the higher your net adjusted +/-, the more important you are to your team’s success. Lets look how Carter stacks up…

2002-2003 – On Court: -0.4, Off Court: – 9.0, Net: +8.6 (1st on team)
Vince missed a lot of time this year, but was still easily the Raptors most effective player at +8.6. The Raptors were about average when he was on the court (-0.4) and completely terrible when he was not (-9.0). Closest player on team to Carter was Antonio Davis at +6.6.

2003-2004 – On Court: -0.1, Off Court: – 9.6, Net: +9.4 (1st on team)
Basically the same story as last except Carter didn’t miss any time. His +9.4 was more than double any other Raptor… and Toronto fans wonder why Vince wanted to leave?

2004-2005 – On Court: +3.3, Off Court: – 7.6, Net: +10.9 (3rd on team)
Clearly Carter was having a great positive effect on his new team (now the Nets). He was behind Kidd (who was 2nd in the NBA to Tim Duncan) and 0.2 behind Jason Collins. Richard Jefferson… how about -4.3? Of course, in 20 games with the Raptors Carter was horrible at -8.3. You could easily make a case that Carter mailed it in (he basically admitted to)… and I’m sure thats why Raptors fans hate him!

2005-2006 – On Court: +5.4, Off Court: – 10.1, Net: +15.5 (1st on team)
Only Dwyane Wade at +15.8 had a better net rating than Carter.

2006-2007 – On Court: +0.8, Off Court: – 6.6, Net: +7.4 (2nd on team)
Kidd had a slightly higher net (+8.3) but Carter is clearly still a very effective player. A lot more effective than say Richard Jefferson at +2.1. Have you ever heard anyone say anything bad about Jefferson? Me neither. But Carter is a much more effective player.

2007-2008 – On Court: -2.2, Off Court: – 11.7, Net: +9.5 (1st on team)
Once again, Carter is the statistically the most effective player on his team. Kidd is +5.6 and Jefferson is -0.2. But Vince Carter is the problem?

(**All stats from 82Games)

Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson
One of these guys is clearly a better player than the other

So to recap, over the past 6 years, Vince has had at least a +7.4 net adjusted +/-, leading his team during 4 seasons with a high of +15.5, when he was second in the league. So why wouldn’t players want to play with him? Clearly teams are much better when Vince is on the court. Could anyone even argue against that? The goal of each basketball game is to outscore your opponents and when Vince is on the court, he has given his team a MUCH better chance to win. The only downpoint is the 20 game stretch of horrible basketball to start the 04-05 season.

Now I am not saying that Carter is an angel or that he didn’t mail it in in those 20 games for the Raptors. But for the hate this guy gets you would think that it was him, not Kidd, who beat his wife. How many DUIs does Carter have? How many strip club shootings? Hell, was it him or Chauncey Billups that raped* that woman back in 1999? (*Allegedly).

As far as Bill Simmons goes, he seemed a lot more knowledgeable about the NBA a few years back. I actually love Simmons’ articles and he’s my favorite sports writer. But I just really question some of his comments recently on the NBA. He actually like the Shaq/Marion deal for the Suns? Seriously?! And why hammer Carter in every column?

Why not take shots at the wildly overrated Carmelo Anthony? Not only does ‘Melo participate in gang sponsored “Stop Snitching” videos and sucker punch guys then run away, but he doesn’t even try on defense. Literally he is lost on defense AND he gives no effort. Not only that, but he has shown no willingness to improve his defense yet in his career. You want to talk about an overrated, overpaid bad off-court guy, there he is. How about these adjusted +/- rating for Carmelo the past 3 years… -0.5, +0.2, and +0.6. And he’s a All-Star starter in the loaded West? Give me a break! Of course, no sports writer will ever bring this up.

Danny Granger

Alright, I am just rambling at this point. If anyone has actually read this far, I will just add this… Simmons’ boy Danny Granger (who, for whatever reason, he thinks is the greatest player since Larry Bird) has the following net adjusted +/- for his career so far: -6.1, -0.4 and -6.5. So when Granger is on the court, the Pacers are clearly a worse team than when he is off the court. And the Pacers are terrible, so what does that say about Granger? You really think that Larry Bird is drunk dialing other GMs because he drafted this guy? You have got to be kidding me. I’d take Carter over Granger as a player (this season) and its not even close.

OK, enough of this… time to watch Lost.

EDIT(Added on 2/29):
Vince makes $13.3 mil this year, the 31st highest paid player in the league. Is he overpaid? Probably a little. Check out some of these other salaries though…

Shaq – $20.0M
Jermaine O’Neal – $19.7M
Stephon Marbury – $19.0M
Chris Webber – $19.0M
Michael Finley – $18.6M
Ben Wallace – $15.5M
Rashard Lewis – $14.9M (that he signed this year!)
Mike Bibby – $13.5M
Zach Randolph -$13.3M
Kenyon Martin – $13.3M
Wally Szczerbiak – $12.8M
Raef LaFrentz – $12.8M
Larry Hughes – $12.0M
Theo Ratliff – $11.7M
Kirk Hinrich – $11.3M
Erick Dampier – $10.6
Bobby Simmons – $9.3M (another Bill Simmons’ guy)
Troy Murphy – $9.2M
Kwame Brown – $9.1M
Eddy Curry – $8.9M
Adonal Foyle – $8.9M
Jason Williams – $8.9M
Nene – $8.8M

Greg Oden Talks with Barack Obama

I thought this article was very cool. According to Greg Oden, “(Obama) said that when I come back Brandon, LaMarcus and I will be a force next year. He also asked me about my knee, and he said he wasn’t feeling my mohawk.”

Both Oden and Obama seem like genuinely good guys, which is refreshing. Check out the article here.

NBA Star/Goat of the Week – Week 14

NBA Star of the Week – Hedo Turkoglu

Hedo Turkoglu

Turkey Glue has been on fire lately for the Magic

Hedo Turkoglu – Coming off an outrageous game winning three against Boston, Turkoglu had another huge week.  He averaged 24 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists while shooting 61% from the field and 88% from the line, leading the Magic to a perfect 3-0 record.

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NBA Goat of the Week – Kwame Brown

Kwame Brown

Some might say Kwame Brown has had a disappointing career

Kwame Brown – Back in 2001, Brown was the first high school player ever to get picked number on in the NBA draft.  This season, he averaged 5.7 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Lakers before being traded to the Grizzlies this past week.  He’s sure to help the Grizzlies lock up a top pick in the 2008 NBA draft.

NBA Web Roundup – Video Games, Rudy Gay and Artest is Still Crazy

NBA Web Roundup

Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay wants you to choose his dunk

Links from around the NBA…

Thanks to Hardwood Paroxysm for finding this gem…

NBA Fantasy Spin – 11/25/07

As the season goes on, its getting harder and harder to find players who can make or break your team, but there are certainly guys out there who can fill voids due to injury or poor early season performance. If you are looking for some help, here are some players that should be on your radar right now.

Antonio Daniels
If Daniels is still available, maybe its time to get out of that Yahoo! public league and into more competitive one.

Antonio Daniels – Chances are this guys was picked up in your league immediately after Arenas was declared out for 3 months. If he’s available now, pick him up… and think about joining a more competitive league next year.

Juan Carlos Navarro – This 27 year-old rookie from Spain has started the last two games for the Grizzlies and averaged 22.0 pts, 4.0 ast, 2.5 reb, 3.0 3-pts, 1.0 stl and shot 17-26 from the field. If he stays in the starting lineup for Memphis, look for Navarro, the 2006 MVP of the Spanish league, to be a solid contributor of points and treys while shooting good percentages from the field and the line.

Andres Nocioni – According to ESPN, as of right now he is owned in only 75% of leagues. Over his last six games (the last five as a starter), Nocioni has averaged 17.7 pts, 6.5 reb and 2.0 3-pts. The Bulls are such a disaster right now, who knows how long he’ll be a starter or how many minutes any Chicago player can expect from here on out. But if “Chapu” is still available, I would grab him asap.

Luis Scola – The highly touted rookie from Argentina finally has been showing some signs of life recently. Over his last five games, Scola has had 20 points three times. On the flip side, he has a combined 5 points in the other two. Scola clearly has not fully adjusted to NBA ball, but he is getting closer. The Rockets need a third option to step up and Scola might be that guy. If he can find some consistency, look for some nice points, rebounds and FG% from the 27 year-old.

Bostjan Nachbar – Over his past three games, Nachbar has averaged 16.3 pts, 3.0 3-pts, 3.0 reb, 2.0 stl and shot 52% from the field.

Brandon Bass – Keep your eye on Bass down in Dallas. He hasn’t been getting the consistent minutes all year long, but has played well when called upon. Bass has averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds over last last three.

Marco Jaric – Marco should see the bulk of playing time in Minnesota, with Sebastian Telfair as his main competition for minutes. In his last two games, the 29 year-old Jaric has averaged 17.0 pts, 6.0 ast, 2.5 reb, 1.5 stl, 2.0 blk and 1.0 3-pts.

NBA Fantasy Spin – 11/21/07

Highlights from another wild night in the NBA

NBA Fantasy Spin

Looking for some fantasy basketball help? Keep your eye on these youngsters…

Andray Blatche – The third year forward has seen his minutes increasing lately and last night responded with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and a block on 12-14 shooting. While he won’t score 26 every night, look for Blatche to score in double figures with great blocks and some rebounds coming off the bench.

Washington Wizards Andray Blatche
Blatche scored a career higher 26 on Tuesday against the 76ers

Jordan Farmar – Farmar has been playing very well in limited minutes lately and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him eventually take over the starting PG spot for the Lakers. Over the past four games, the 20 year-old has averaged 12.5 pts, 4.5 reb, 4.0 ast, 2.3 3-pts and 2.5 stl while shooting 53%.

Louis Williams – Over the past two games, Williams has averaged 22.0 pts, 3.0 reb, 3.5 ast, 3.0 3-pts and 1.5 stl while shooting 69% from the field. Philly really doesn’t have any better options at SG as far as I can tell. Even when Kyle Korver comes back, if Williams continues his play, it will be impossible for the 76ers to keep him on the bench.

Shawne Williams – This second year forward out of Memphis has averaged 20.0 pts, 5.5 reb, 2.5 3-pts, 1.5 stl and 1.5 blk while hitting 15 of his 22 field goals over the past two games for the Pacers.

NBA Fantasy Spin – 11/17/07

After a huge night in the NBA, its time to take another look at some potentially solid players who might be available in your fantasy basketball leagues. A lot of leagues are won and lost in these first few weeks of the season, when NBA teams start to set their rotations.

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes – Don Nelson has been experimenting with different lineups in Golden St. Barnes, who was getting minimal playing earlier this season, has started the last two games and responded with 14.5 pts, 6.5 reb, 7 ast, 2.5 3-pts and even 1.5 blk. Its tough to say who is going to get the minutes for the high-scoring Warriors, especially with Stephen Jackson on his way back, but if its Barnes, expect him to put up solid numbers.

Andrew Bogut – Outside of Michael Redd, there are not many offensive options in Milwaukee. Though I am no fan of the former number one pick, Bogut does have legit double-double potential to go along with a great FG%. If he can keep up his current pace of blocks (1.5/gm), he will become a valuable fantasy asset. On Wednesday, Bogut went off for 23 pts, 12 boards and 4 blocks.

Al Horford – Its doubtful Horford is still available in your league, but if he is and you need rebounds, grab him. The rookie out of Florida is averaging 8.9 pts, 10.9 reb, 1.8 blk, 1.3 stl and only looks to get better as the season goes along.

Troy Murphy – Murphy, who came back from a sore Achilles’ to score 20 off the bench for the Pacers on Friday, is averaging 14 pts in just 24 minutes so far this year. If he keeps up his good play, expect him to see him get more playing time. If he can get some minutes and shake the nagging injury, Murphy can give your team help in points, rebounds and some threes while shooting respectable percentages from the field and the line.

Jamario Moon – Since being inserted in the starting lineup for the Raps three games ago, the 27-year old rookie Moon has averaged 10.3 pts, 5.3 reb, 1.7 stl, 1.0 blk and 1.0 3-pts while shooting 52% from the field. Definitely worth a look now in deep 12 team leagues, Moon is a player to keep on your radar over the next few weeks.

Sean Williams BlockSean Williams – This athletic freak has blocked 3+ shots in all 4 games in which he has logged over 15 minutes of play, including his last three straight. Per minute, Williams’ numbers are outstanding. He is averaging 7.5 pts, 4.3 reb, 2.5 blk while shooting 67% from the field in under 17 minutes per game. Look for his minutes and numbers to rise dramatically as he is too good for the Nets to keep on the bench, particularly with Vince out indefinitely.

Antoine Walker – Could it be time for ‘the wiggle’ to make its debut in Minneapolis? Don’t look now, but ‘Toine has been first off the bench for Minnesota the past two games, averaging 16.5 pts, 4.5 reb, 2.5 3-pts, and 2.5 stl. The T-Wolves are a terrible team and Walker might have just enough left in the tank to put up some good numbers in this situation. Of course, low shooting percentages are always a factor with Walker, so keep that in mind before you decide to pick him up.

Beno Udrih – Udrih, who has started the last two games at PG for Sacramento, is averaging 12.3 pts, 3.3 reb, 3.0 ast, 1.3 3-pts and 1.7 stl in four games so far this season. He didn’t get into a game until Nov 10, but now that he has, he seems to be playing a major role for the Kings.