Getting some guidance from his former coach, Carter comes off what was probably his best performance in more than a month to lead the Orlando Magic against the lowly Washington Wizards on Friday night.
Carter had 17 points and a season-best 10 rebounds with a season high-tying seven assists as Orlando (33-16) beat Milwaukee 99-82 on Tuesday night.
It was a promising effort for the veteran shooting guard, who averaged 8.7 points and shot 28.4 percent in 14 games last month.
“Maybe January just wasn’t my month,” the eight-time All-Star said after going 7 of 15 from the field Tuesday.
Frank, Carter’s former coach with New Jersey, was sitting about five rows behind the Magic bench and will be offering advice to Orlando’s staff this week as he observes practices. Frank, fired by the Nets in November after an 0-16 start, coached Carter for five years.
Carter, averaging 23.1 points for his career, was traded to Orlando in June.
“He has to remember who he is,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He’s had one bad month, but he has had an unbelievable career.”
Orlando has mostly been able to weather Carter’s subpar play, winning seven of eight. That hot stretch comes after the Magic had lost seven of their previous nine, including a poor performance against the Wizards (16-32).
In the teams’ only meeting this season, Orlando lost 104-97 at Washington on Jan. 8 after losing Carter to a shoulder injury in the second quarter. The Magic had won five straight and eight of nine versus the Wizards.
Mike Miller(notes) replaced Butler at small forward and DeShawn Stevenson(notes) started at shooting guard in Washington’s 107-85 loss to New York on Wednesday night. The Wizards were outscored 66-40 in the second half.
“When you’re not a very good team, which right now we’re not, it’s like you can hang around, hang around, but in the fourth quarter the game is determined,” coach Flip Saunders said. “And when we fall behind, we melt right now.”
Washington has been held under 89 points in five of its last seven games. Though the Wizards are without guard Gilbert Arenas(notes) (suspension), Saunders blames the poor offensive execution on a lack of ball movement.
Washington is 28th in the NBA with 18.2 assists per game, including an average of 16.0 during its current 2-6 slump.
“We are taking too many one-pass shots,” Saunders said. “Sixty percent of our offense is one-pass or no-pass shots. We keep striving to change that, but we just haven’t bought into that and that’s the frustrating thing.”