HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Kia Rookie of the Year voting should be pretty simple this season. There are only nine rookies who have averaged at least 20 minutes per game for 50 games or more. And none of those have done it for a team with a winning record.
Winning records don’t matter much in Rookie of the Year voting. None of the last 10 winners played for teams with winning records. So there probably won’t be anything stopping the media from voting for Michael Carter-Williams (of the 16-59 Sixers) or Victor Oladipo (of the 21-54 Magic).
That doesn’t mean that he’s the best player among all rookies. He’s just had the biggest opportunity, playing for a team that stripped its roster bare over the course of the last 10 months.
Carter-Williams has been the only rookie to start every game he’s played in, and his back-up — Tony Wroten — was never a threat to take any of his minutes, especially since developing the rookie has been priority No. 1 in Philadelphia this season. Even if winning games was a priority, Wroten isn’t good enough to take minutes away from MCW.
Not only has Carter-Williams led rookies in minutes per game and usage rate, but the Sixers have played at the *fastest pace in the league. So, when it comes to racking up per-game numbers, he’s had a three-tier advantage over other rookies.
* The fourth fastest pace of the last 20 years, actually.
We can adjust for all that, though. NBA.com’s PIE statistic takes a player’s numbers (with weights added to each) as a percentage of the overall numbers that were accumulated while he was on the floor. And only one rookie ranks higher than Carter-Williams in terms of PIE…
All stats are through April 3, 2014.
Rookies who have played 1,000 minutes, sorted by PIE
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||75||1,732||52.9%||55.8%||19.1%||7.4%|
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
TS% = PTS / (2 * (FGA + (0.44 FTA)))
By the way, this certainly isn’t the best rookie class in recent memory, but it might have the longest names.
So Mason Plumlee has made more of his minutes than Carter-Williams has, and has also done it for a playoff team. But MCW has played twice as many minutes. And if you’re voting for Rookie of the Year, it’s hard to argue against that.
Carter-Williams has also made the Sixers a better team. They’ve been outscored by 15.2 points per 100 possessions with him on the bench, but by only 8.9 with him on the floor. That minus-8.9 NetRtg would still rank 29th in the league (ahead of only the Bucks), but it’s a heck of a lot better than minus-15.2.
Of the 17 rookies who have played at least 1,000 minutes, only three have a positive plus-minus. They are Steven Adams (plus-52), Matthew Dellavedova (plus-46) and Nick Calathes (plus-9). And Adams’ team has been much better with him off the floor.
Several more rookies can say they’ve made a positive impact…
Rookies who have played 1,000 minutes, sorted by on-off-court NetRtg differential
|On court||Off court||Difference|
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||1,732||-5.3||1,951||+2.0||-7.3||221|
NetRtg = Team point differential per 100 possessions
Rank = Among 236 players who have logged at least 1,000 minutes for one team
It helps to know who those guys are playing their minutes with, but among Sixer rotation regulars, only Evan Turner had a higher on-court NetRtg than Carter-Williams.
So while it’s important to add context to Carter-Williams per-game numbers, the context doesn’t hurt his Rookie of the Year candidacy very much.