When Vince Carter started the first game of his NBA career on February 5th, 1999, I had just celebrated my 12th birthday. Deyonta Davis was a little more than two-years old. The current youngest player in the NBA, Dragan Bender, was 15 months old. Carter scored 16 points in his debut, a victory for the Toronto Raptors over the Boston Celtics 103-92.
A lot of life and history have transpired over the past eighteen years. Bender and Davis are now Carter’s peers. Vince eventually left Toronto and has now played for six total NBA teams. Yet the more things change, the more they say the same. In his first start of the 2016-2017 NBA season, replacing the injured/ineffective Chandler Parsons, Carter scored 24 points and helped to lead his team, now the Memphis Grizzlies, to a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
That win started quite a run for the Grizzlies that was like a breath of fresh air. After a five-game losing skid, Memphis is currently on a four-game winning streak. There are a variety of reasons for the success the Grizzlies have had the last four contests- Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are back to playing like superstars, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen are playing their roles quite nicely, and if we are being honest the absence of Parsons, for this regular season at least, is addition by subtraction.
There is reason to believe, though, that the good stretch of play for the Grizzlies is directly connected to the decision by David Fizdale to insert Vince Carter, and not James Ennis, Andrew Harrison, or Troy Daniels, in to the starting lineup.
Know Your Role
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