A week ago he was idly sitting on Denver’s bench, a healthy scratch in over 70 percent of Nuggets’ games this season. A stiff combo guard standing a shade over 6’1″ isn’t how you’d typically draw up a lengthy career, but that’s exactly what he’s managed. At a ripe 35-years-old and on his fifth team in 11 years, seven days ago Anthony Carter found himself as a throw in piece in one of the league’s most discussed trades in years. Up to that point, his season high in production was a six points in 16 minutes losing effort to New Orleans. Days after dust settled on the Carmelo trade, speculation surrounded what the Knicks would do with some of the other pieces. Some assumed Carter would be bought out, likely ending his career. Instead, in one of the Knicks most confidence boosting wins in years, his presence was slightly significant.
When Anthony Carter was inserted into last night’s game, I figured the Knicks were following suit with their small lineup strategy, but to have it come as soon as it did was a little strange. Sure, Carter is a player on a new team and therefore should be allotted the proper floor time to prove himself—have his own little tryout—but against Miami? In Miami? On national television? It was all a little tough to comprehend. To say he made an offensive impact would be fibbing just a bit—Carter scored four points on six shots—but defensively he was a pest, sharing Dwyane Wade duty with the much larger Bill Walker. (Wade went on to shoot 5-15 from the field for a grant total of 12 points.) Can we expect this from him regularly? The odds say there’s no chance, but if Carter can bother opposing two guards and solely place his focus on the defensive end, he should be able to help a team still grappling with the fundamentals of stopping an opponent.
In short, as long as he doesn’t do this, the minutes could continue to come: