Whenever teammates or coaches are asked about Jevon Carter the most common description is “bulldog.” This is due to his defensive tenacity and unwillingness to back down to anyone on the court.
This isn’t anything new to Carter’s game as he’s been playing with that same aggression throughout his whole life.
“I would say it comes a lot from just the way I grew up,” Carter said. “I always felt like I was overlooked. I always felt like there were guys that were talked about that were supposed to be better than I was and I always felt like I was better than them. It’s just a build up of anger and when I just go out there, I just play with that anger.”
Phoenix Suns fans saw the passion and attitude Carter brings to the floor on Wednesday night as the team tipped-off their season against the Sacramento Kings. In his first game in purple and orange, Carter led the second unit with 11 points and, more importantly, helped lead the Suns in the comeback victory.
The Suns were down by as many as 11 points during the second quarter, but battled their way back coming out of halftime. Carter then began to take over. Midway through the third, Carter drained back-to-back three-pointers to extend the Suns lead to double-digits and put the team in a comfortable situation entering the fourth.
Overall, he finished the game with an efficient 4-of-7 from the field, 3-of-5 from three, but his most impressive impact came from his pesky full-court, man-to-man defense that was constantly disrupting the Kings’ play calling.
Carter doesn’t back down from anyone on the court and constantly gives his full effort on every possession, and even if his coach might be calling for him to take it easy, he’s still not going to let up.
“Jevon just doesn't listen to me,” Head Coach Monty Williams said. “He just goes nuts and hits shots and, defensively, he gets all over people and he has selective hearing. I'm just trying to scream to him to slow down. That's what I love about him. He just has a determination about him.”
Due to an early injury during his rookie season, Carter was never able to fully display what he was capable of last year in Memphis. Now in Phoenix, Carter’s game looks to be an ideal fit in Coach Williams’ system and is appreciating the freedom he is being given on the court.
“I was just telling my brother last night,” Carter said “I feel like a little kid again. Just being out there, just being happy to be on the floor. I can't even really put the feeling into words honestly.”
Not only has Carter carved out an important role with the Suns, but he has also secured the confidence of his coach.
“He's worked his tail off,” Williams said. “I want him to be Jevon. He can be a pest on defense. His shot making has been surprising to me in practice and in games."
The Suns pulled away with a dominant victory on opening night as Carter made his Suns debut in front of the Phoenix fan base. The team travels to Denver for their first road trip of the season as they tip-off against the Nuggets on Friday night. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.