AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - It's not even January and the Detroit Pistons are preparing to face Vince Carter for the third time this season.
Carter, one of the leading NBA All-Star vote-getters at small forward in the Eastern Conference, is expected to make his debut with the New Jersey Nets tonight against the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Carter was last at the Palace on Dec. 8 with the Toronto Raptors. He injured his left Achilles' in that game and left in the third quarter of the Pistons' 90-86 overtime victory. He was placed on the injured list Dec. 10. A week later he was traded to the Nets for Alonzo Mourning, Aaron Williams and Eric Williams and two future first-round draft picks.
Carter said that he has had problems with his Achilles' for the past three years. He has practiced the past seven days without pain in the Achilles', and all indications are that he'll play tonight.
Before he went on the injured list, Carter was averaging 15.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 30.4 minutes for the Raptors.
With the addition of Carter, Jason Kidd back from a knee injury and Richard Jefferson playing well, the Nets are hoping to make a run in the Atlantic Division with a faster-tempo game.
"Vince's ability to run the floor fits in very well with our desired style of play," Nets president Rod Thorn said.