Chip Shots

by Jim Buzzerd

Carter gets a chance

Admittedly, I’ve been losing interest in professional sports as the years have passed. I still watch many of the NFL games, but with much less enthusiasm than before. Major League Baseball can bore me to tears, but I still tune in for parts of the post season.

I mean baseball is a great game. I was reminded of this last Saturday when I attended my first live baseball game in years. It was a low Class A game between Myrtle Beach and Augusta. Most of the players on the field will have a long climb to ever see a major league field.

If a high draft pick is even assigned to a low A team, they rarely stay very long. Bryce Harper was with the Hagerstown Suns for just a few months. He was only there that long because his poor eyesight had not been detected. Once fitted with contact lenses, his career soared. Still, sitting in the second row behind home plate, watching and remembering what it was like to be on the field reminded me how much I enjoyed playing the game in high school.

The problem now is games are most often just too long. The average length is just over three hours. That means for every two-hour game played there was a four-hour game to go with it.

I’ve not watched the NBA much this season, but I will likely tune in for the playoffs which began Tuesday with the play in rounds, something new this season. Four teams in each conference will play to fill the seventh and eighth seeds for the playoffs. Washington played Boston on Tuesday for the seventh seed. The loser of that game will play the winner of the Indiana-Charlotte game for the eight seed.

The reason for the title of this column is former West Virginia University star guard Jevon Carter. He hasn’t been discussed much here since his playing days in Morgantown, but Carter is a member of the Phoenix Suns. The Suns finished first in the Pacific Division with a 51-21 record, but were edged out by Utah for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Carter’s role on the Suns isn’t big, because the Suns boast All-Star guards Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Carter averaged 12 minutes in the 60 games he played in. He finished the season averaging 4.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Phoenix decided to rest Booker and Paul in Sunday’s regular season finale and that decision gave Carter his only start of the season. The Mountaineer took advantage coming up one assist short of a triple double. He had 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He also had three steals in 43 minutes.

“That was fun,” Carter said. “Just showed how deep we are as a team.”

Obviously Carter won’t see that kind of playing time in the playoffs, but if you’re looking for an excuse to watch the NBA, perhaps the Suns can provide one.