Vince Carter Interview
The New Jersey Nets are in a race with Philadelphia and Orlando to secure one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern conference. Thursday night in New Jersey, the Nets beat the Knicks. New Jersey had a big lead, then the Knicks caught up, but the Nets were able to hang on for the win. InsideHoops.com and other media talked to Vince Carter after the game. This is the only place you'll find the complete interview.
Question: This is a key win for you guys, beating the Knicks. You're in a tight playoff race.
Vince Carter: It's a big win for us. It's important, because it's in our division of course. In our minds right now, it doesn't matter who we're playing, what division, whatever. Every game counts, every win counts. The approach we're trying to take right now is just worry about the Nets and what we need to do to win games.
Question: You've bounced back and forth between wins and losses. How big is it to get on a decent winning trend lately?
Vince Carter: It's big. Like I said, take it one game at a time, enjoy it, and now it's time to get ready for our next fight, and that's the Celtics. Just continue to focus on playoff style of basketball.
Question: While you were out of the game, the Nets kept rolling over the Knicks.
Vince Carter: It's all about tricking them. They prepare one way, and you give them a whole different look. It was fun to watch, because it's always hard when you're not out there and the team is losing or whatever, but we went on a big run. I'm a cheerleader just like everybody else. I enjoy just seeing us succeed and everybody doing well. We got a big lift tonight. Brian (Scalabrine) was more than big tonight.
Question: What were you thinking as your lead was disappearing?
Vince Carter: Just stay focused. Just keep going. For me personally, I'm in a situation where, regardless of what run the other teams make, the game's not over. Just keep playing. And when the game's over, then you're like, "oh man, I was supposed to be nervous." It's just take your time, run your offense. We were having success running our offense. Steph and Jamal just tried to take the game over, and they took advantage of the shots we did miss, and we were able to settle down and, fortunate for us, we had enough lead still to where we were trading baskets a little bit and that was helping us a little bit.
Question: Talk about the stars of this team being leaders.
Vince Carter: We just have to set the bar. We talk about playoffs, but we have to play like it. It has to come from your captain, and Jay really started it for us, and once I was able to play some significant minutes I was able to help out. And Brian Scalabrine on down really gave it to us. And it also helps with the guys that we have here, if you look around the locker room, a couple of these guys have been in the finals. So they kind of know what it's like; what playoff atmosphere is all about. And what it takes to actually win a playoff series. You kind of got to see it tonight.
Question: Being Jason Kidd's teammate now, are you aware of what he is able to do as far as getting hot and hitting threes and scoring the way he was?
Vince Carter: Oh I definitely know he can do it. Tonight you can just see his focus and see that he wanted to win, on down the line, every guy tonight really had their game face on. We've seen that the past couple of games. Even the game that we lost, to the Magic, I think guys have really had their game faces on and really dedicated themselves these last ten games.
Question: Do you think Jason Kidd really likes beating the Knicks?
Vince Carter: It was kind of one of those things, where I guess he thought it was a cheap shot, I don't know. I can't explain it. He wants to win. Everybody wants to win. You have to play to win, by any means.
Question: What did you think of Jerome Williams' foul on you?
Vince Carter: They called the right one. A foul is a foul. I just walked away. It was really no big deal. I've had hard fouls before, so. I've played with him, so I know what he's capable of.
Question: Do you feel like you're peaking right at the right time?
Vince Carter: Kind of like college basketball, at tournament time, you got to peak. One of the colleges that I enjoy watching play, they peaked at the right time, so I figured I'd follow them.
Question: Villanova? (A joke)
Vince Carter: No, not Villanova (Vince gets that it's a joke)
Question: Blue and white...
Vince Carter: I think it's Carolina blue and white (laughs)... But definitely, you kind of approach it that way. Regardless of whether you're in the playoff race, if you're already established in a playoff spot, you still want to peak at the end of the season. So your transition from the end of the season to that first playoff game, you're still on a high, still rolling, so hopefully we can continue in these last few games, and get in.
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