Orlando media learn Carter's frustrating side

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:44 PM ET

You just knew more than a few fans in Toronto applauded Vince Carter’s missed free throws.

Public enemy No. 1 missed both of his attempts late in Game 2 when the Magic correctly decided on a two-for-one possession with the Celtics leading by three points.

Carter still tends to settle for his jumper, but he has been effective when he does get to the line until the moment of truth arrived.

More than any sequence this playoff run, that inability to deliver in crunch time illustrates a decline in Carter’s game.

In his prime, which included a 50-point playoff game in Toronto, Carter wouldn’t have missed.

He did and the Magic now trail the Celtics 2-0 heading into Boston.

Had Carter converted with 31.9 seconds remaining, the Magic could have forced a stop and won the game on the final possession.

Also painful was J.J. Redick’s brain cramp in advancing the ball and then calling a timeout, which meant the Magic had to inbound the ball from its side of midcourt.

For many reporters in Orlando, this is the first time they’ve had to deal with Carter and try to interpret his words that contradict his body language and actions.

Following Tuesday’s loss, the media raised the obvious.

A scribe prefaced a query about the errant free throws by telling Carter the following: “You’re an 84% free-throw shooter.”

Chimed in Carter: “Don’t remind me.”

“Is that just bad luck? Is it just a matter of the ball just not going in and bad luck?” countered the reporter.

“Just don’t remind me,” Carter said.

All the while, Carter was smiling.

When a timeout was called shortly after Carter’s missed free throws, Carter could be seen slamming his hands into a chair’s cushion.

Game 3 in the Eastern final isn’t until Saturday night.

Carter simply must step up or Orlando faces the real threat of getting swept after sweeping Charlotte and Atlanta.

Boston’s toughness, mental and physical, has taken over.

When stars are asked to make plays, Boston’s best have stepped up.

Carter was acquired by Orlando to take the team to the next level.

One has to wonder whether Hedo Turkoglu would have missed those free throws.


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