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NBA Playoffs, Magic Celtics Game 5: Vince Carter should do the exact same thing he did last game, only completely different and much better

Vince Carter had no redeemable value for the Magic in Game 4. He wasn’t scoring well, and finished with just three points on 1-for-9 shooting. He wasn’t making plays for his teammates, even if he wasn’t necessarily a ball-stopper. He wasn’t hitting the boards particularly hard, and he certainly wasn’t making any significant contributions on the defensive end. Stan Van Gundy ultimately pulled Carter for much of the fourth quarter in favor of J.J. Redick, and it was absolutely, positively the right move.

So naturally, SVG is expecting a bit more from Carter tonight. From Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

Carter missed eight of the nine shots he attempted in Orlando’s 96-92 overtime victory in Game 4 on Monday, and Van Gundy was asked moments ago what he needs to happen for Carter to be more productive.

“It’s a combination of everything,” Van Gundy said after the Magic completed their shootaround. “I think he needs to be more aggressive. We probably need to get him in better situations, and he needs to make the shots he gets. I mean, part of it is simple. Everybody in this series other than Paul Pierce has had both good nights and bad nights. Paul’s the only one on either team offensively who’s has four good nights. So, you can ask that question about anyone except him.”

In summary: every non-Paul Pierce player has had a bad offensive game in this series, but Vince Carter needs to be more aggressive (coach-speak for show better shot selection while looking to attack the rim), get the ball in situations better suited to his talents, and actually make some damn shots. That’d be a start, because as Game 4 showed, Carter’s utility for this team is significantly limited when he’s not scoring. Putting up points is never easy against a defense like Boston’s, but Vince will have to find ways to get his if he’s going to help the Magic stave off elimination again tonight.