2006-2007 Stats: 82 GP, 38.1 MPG, 25.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 45.4 FG%, 35.7 3P%, 80.2 FT%
2006-2007 Advanced: 55.9 TS%, 50.3 eFG%, 21.8 PER, 111 ORtg, 107 DRtg, 10.5 WS
All-Star Team? Yes
Team: 41-41, lost in second round to Cleveland Cavaliers (4-2)
Had Vince Carter been traded to New Jersey two seasons earlier, they’d have beaten the Spurs, and no one will ever tell me different.
Vince was the closest thing the Nets have ever had to Dr. J in the NBA. He was a monster in so many seasons, so it’s hard to pick one, but this was definitely his best individual year. The Nets had lost Kenyon Martin to the Nuggets and Richard Jefferson lost 30 games to injury, meaning the Nets had a nucleus of Vince, a 33-year-old Jason Kidd, and Jason Collins. So suffice it to say, Vince had to shoulder the offense more than ever.
He did pretty well.
He dropped 30 or more 25 times and 40 or more six times, including a ridiculous 46-16-10 triple-double against the Wizards. Not only did he score the first 17 Nets points, but he also put up the triple-double on the same night that teammate Jason Kidd also posted a triple-double. He began really focusing on his three-point shot that year, making scoring look easy both inside and out. The Nets made it to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, losing in seven games to LeBron James’s Cavaliers. It was the furthest any Vince team went.
My favorite moment of that season was one of VC’s patented casual game-winners, pulling it off against Deron Williams’s Utah Jazz. After Williams hit a free throw to put the Jazz up two, Carter sauntered upcourt with zero urgency, used a screen to get open, and pulled up from about 32 feet.
The Finals-era Nets may have been the best, but no one made basketball vertical like Vince. He hung in the air like a helicopter, catching the ball at his apex and flushing down sometimes without even touching the rim on alley-oops. He dunked on guys and through space, and somehow kept the Nets at .500 even with no one else to carry the load.
Sorry to keep you waiting. Here’s 100 of Vince’s dunks. You know what to do.