Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Player Report Card: Anthony Carter

(Boulder-CO) Now we are getting into the thick of it. After drudging through the likes of Steven Hunter, Chucky Atkins, and Yakhouba Diawara we finally arrive at a Nugget who actually provided our nation with a touch of joy and mirth. Anthony Carter was this year's biggest surpise after presumed starting point guard Chucky Atkins went down and stayed down with a groin injury. AC-eeeeeeeeeeee, as he is affectionately known by the Pepsi Center faithful, stepped into the starting role for the Nuggets about ten games into the season and maintained his position for the majority of the season from then on.

And it didn't take Carter long to show us all why he was truly the unsung hero on this team.
Anthony Carter came into this season with his career's future in an uncertain place. After his agent fumbled the ball and cost Anthony millions in contract extension money from the Miami Heat, Carter bounced from Seattle to Minnesota in very limited opportunity situations and posted the leanest numbers of his career up to that point. And it was in Minnesota where he posted his lowest numbers of his career by averaging just three points and three assists in the two years spent with the franchise. He was then picked up on a ten-day contract with the Nuggets at the end of last season and stuck around long enough for an opportunity to present itself to be seized.
They say one man's unfortunate turn of events is another's opportunity and for AC, Chucky Atkins' groin injury was a chance to re-establish himself in this league.
In a career-high number of games started (67), Carter posted his best offensive numbers straight across the board while also drawing the opposing team's most difficult backcourt match-up on most nights. AC averaged career-highs in minutes played (28), points (7.8), assists (5.5), assist to turnover ratio (3.1), rebounds (2.9), steals (1.5), free-throw percentage (75.3), field goal percentage (45.8), and made the most dramatic improvement in three-point shooting from a previous career-high of 26.7% to 35% this season.
And for that kind of effort Anthony Carter has earned a rock-solid B. Now, do I think he is the long-term answer for the Nuggets' woes at point guard? No, but at a meager $770,610 salary for services rendered Anthony Carter was worth every penny of that and then some. He is the kind of player that conducts himself with professionalism (you never hear a peep out of him in a negative context) and his charitable efforts as the spokesman for the "I Have a Dream Foundation" this season were second to none. Quiet, classy, yeoman, and humble are all words that summarize Anthony Carter's impact this season for the Nuggets. Management would be wise to keep this unrestricted free-agent as he has proven to be a valuable reserve while they continue to search for a more dynamic solution at the point.
Great season, AC-eeeeeee.
Go Nuggets!


GeneralPhysician said...

Yes, I agree with your take on AC completely.

And, throughout the season I took exception to much of the criticism that was pointed at him; many of those people who had bad things to say didn't (don't) understand what role he was in, and how he got there.

There were times he took, what seemed to be at the time, ill advised shots, but as a point guard, ya gotta keep the offense honest.

And, one more thing. We may have forgotten, but remember 'Dre and his 3-ball? Horrendous, in fact, he was 9% from downtown this year in Philly. Yes, NINE PERCENT FROM BEHIND THE ARC. You'd think Shaq could pull those kinda numbers. Anyway, having a point who was a semi-threat was nice.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I feel bad for basically wanting to push AC to the bench the whole year (just because I think we would've won more ballgames with either JR or Kleiza starting)... the guy really did a great job for us considering the circumstances. A guy who played in Italy for part of last year was able to start 67 games for a 50-win team and control the offense pretty well. He made some big shots and even won a game for us against Houston.

Essentially, he's the PERFECT backup PG for this team (we can bring him in for defense and ball-control), but he probably shouldn't be starting anywhere in the NBA... especially here where we're trying to win a championship.