76ers’ MCW Doesn’t Play Like A Rookie

VIDEO: The Spotlight is shined on rookie phenom Michael Carter-Williams

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — Is it too early to just go ahead and hand Michael Carter-Williams the Rookie of the Year trophy? Maybe, but who would argue?

It’s usually way too early to play the re-draft game. We typically reserve that for a couple years down the road to re-evaluate the order of the picks. The superb all-around play of the Philadelphia 76ers first-year point guard in his first 11 games has been as special as it is confounding as to how enough teams didn’t see this coming from a 6-foot-6 prospect that would allow him to drift all the way to No. 11.

No. 1 would be more like it. OK, so the Cleveland Cavaliers already have Kyrie Irving (and we won’t get into Anthony Bennett‘s start here), so No. 1 was out of the question anyway. But Orlando? The pick of Victor Oladipo at No. 2 was a solid choice, argued by no one, but the Magic are trying to train him as a point guard and there’s going to be some lumps along the way.

The Utah Jazz took Michigan point guard Trey Burke, the 6-foot college player of the year, at No. 9. We’ll have to wait a bit to make any declarations on Burke considering he broke his right index finger the third game into the preseason and has played in just two games, both coming off the bench, although that could change as early as tonight when the Jazz play at Oklahoma City (7 p.m. ET, League Pass).

Carter-Williams has simply soared above all other rookies and is a primary reason why the rebuilding 76ers shocked the league with a 4-2 start and 4-4 before he got hurt. In the four games he missed, Philly went 1-3.

He had the Sixers, still a surprising 6-9, scrapping Saturday night in a 106-98 road loss at the East-leading Pacers, going for 29 points, six rebounds, three assists and seven steals. The last stat, the steals, has been an eye-opener all season. He’s got 12 in the last two games and Carter-Williams started his career by nabbing nine against the Miami Heat.

He’s on pace to set an NBA rookie record for steals. Carter-Williams already has 33 — 20 more than Oladipo, who is second among rookies — which puts him on pace to finish with 234 if he plays in all of the Sixers’ remaining 67 games (he missed four games already with a foot injury). Dudley Bradley holds the rookie record of 211 in 1979-80 (Ron Harper had 209 and Mark Jackson had 205 in the 1980s).

At 3.0 spg, Carter-Williams already ranks among the league’s top thieves. He’s tied atop the NBA with Ricky Rubio in steals per game, and in total steals he ranks third, one behind Chris Paul, who has played three more games, and 12 behind Rubio, who has played in four more games.

Among rookies, none come close to Carter-Williams’ across-the-board production. He leads all first-year players in scoring at 17.3 ppg; Oladipo is next at 12.8 ppg. His 7.4 apg are tops with Milwaukee’s Nate Wolters next at 4.7. His 63 total rebounds rank third among rookies and tops among guards. His 10 blocks rank third among rooks; the top three are all centers.

Perhaps most impressive about Carter-Williams is simply the smoothness and poise of his game. He’s not rattled by the competition and he demonstrated that in the first game of his career against the two-time champion Heat with a near quadruple-double: 22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and nine steals. Against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls he went for 26 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and three steals.

He’s already produced three double-doubles, and as he improves his shooting percentage (40.0 from the floor through 11 games, although 36.2 percent from 3-point range), his scoring average will rise. He posted consecutive games of shooting at least 50 percent from the floor for the first time this season in his last two games.

Perhaps it is too early to simply anoint Carter-Williams as the Rookie of the Year, but the young man groomed two seasons at Syracuse is certainly stating his case with authority.


  1. Chris says:

    I put in a write in vote for Carter-Williams to be in the All star game. Just because we wouldn’t even be TALKING about the Sixers right now if it wasn’t for the show this kid puts on every night. Defeating the Heat and Bulls, then putting up a good fight against Indiana? This kid is going to be a star.

  2. Father says:

    The point guard crop just keeps getting stringer and stronger. No starting point guard in the NBA can risk taking a night off, he will get burnt badly

  3. darsnider says:

    funny thing is sixers want to lose so i havea feeling they might take it easy i dont mind id liek them to get wiggins, the sixers can be a legit team in a few years if they get wiggins, him, wiggins and the guy they trades holiday for damn thats a mean threesome their, two offensive monster and a defensive entity

  4. jobert says:

    MCW is a beast. Cavs just drafted Kwame Brown 2.0 with the first pick. Good job Cavs!

  5. JustTheStr8Facts says:

    C-W… the kid is a beast.

  6. FL123 says:

    i still remember his first game that they defeated the heat.. and lots of heat bandwagons are angry that lots of us show support and impress to this guy and keep saying that his a slump ,it’s only a 1 game fluke….hahaha…eat that!!!
    GO MCW!!!!
    well i’m not a heat haters or anything…

    • asdf says:

      Yeah philly fans are great, didnt you guys boo your team when they got crushed at home by golden state?

      • Chris says:

        All fans have their negatives. Many Heat fans left before that Ray Allen 3 in Game 6 of the Finals thinking the Spurs had won.

  7. J says:

    If he keeps this up he will win it for sure.

  8. ron52nge says:

    I like MCW and the way he play basketball, if you look at Stephen Curry you can say that they have similarity. MCW plays well and he’s getting more fans, Sixers would probably love him as he matures… we hope that he will Stay Healthy throughout the season. Probably Sixers will have a Rookie Of The Year award.

  9. wooderson says:

    you’ve got to question the scouts of a lot of teams that didn’t pick him

    • qq says:

      Isaiah Thomas got picked last in the kyrie Irving draft, and he is better than most lottery picks from that draft, You can always question scouts, some talent gets undervalued and some overvalued.

  10. paboese says:

    Will the NBA let fans view voting results to date as voting is in progress? I think it’d be fun to see how it happens day by day. It’s not like it would mess up the voting, what with daily voting with any email already allowed.

  11. TS says:

    The young man that gets awarded Rookie of the Year, typically will look like a 3 year vet and budding All-Star, in most the games he plays. If you were to suggest that MCW plays like a 3 year vet, and budding All-Star, then it would bode very well for him to receive the Rookie of the Year award.

  12. okc2014 says:

    I’m impressed. And the writer is correct, he doesn’t play with a “rookie like” attitude. Just goes to show you that the number one lottery pick is just that, a lottery. I’m liking what he has done: breathed life into the zombie like 76’ers.

  13. Hadi says:

    We got Damien Lillard last year and Carter-Williams this year… I’m liking the new talent coming into the NBA. We’d hit a dry patch recently…

  14. Jahi says:

    The man has a hold lot of talent , watched him play in AAU !

  15. DezzyToronto says:


  16. dustydreamnz says:

    He’s my pick for Rookie of the Year providing he stays healthy.