Phoenix Benches Vince Carter

By: 03.28.11  •  36 Comments
Vince Carter

Vince Carter (photo. Jonathan Mannion)

To the Phoenix Suns fans out there: your playoff chances now rest on the shoulders of Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat. Well, not really. But after starting during Sunday night’s 91-83 loss against Dallas, the two former bench players will now be a part of Phoenix’s opening group for the remainder of the season.

Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports Robin Lopez, and more surprisingly, Vince Carter will move into reserve roles. Still, Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry told the paper that it wasn’t necessarily any individual’s struggles that prompted the move.

“It’s not a reflection on those two guys (Lopez and Carter),” he told The Arizona Republic. “It’s just us trying to look at different lineups and different combinations and see if we can get any consistency down the stretch out of what we’re doing.”

The Gortat move is entirely understandable; he was basically already playing starter’s minutes and has been a million times more productive than Lopez. Now with more time alongside Steve Nash, he should be even better.

The Carter benching raises a few eyebrows. Even though he had a great game against Dallas (20 points, five rebounds, five assists), Dudley isn’t a prototypical starting two-guard. But Carter has struggled and probably will not return to the team next year. If he is waived by June 30, only $4 million of his $18 option is guaranteed for next season.

With just 10 games remaining, the Suns are sitting at a pedestrian 36-36. The playoffs might be out of reach. This is just one final move that perhaps came too late.

What do you think?

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