Who will be the leader of this year’s Sixers team? Who is going to pick this team up after another long losing streak in the middle of February and continue to keep fighting when everyone feels like waving the white flag on the season? Someone must step up and take control of this young roster. With the departure of Thad Young now behind us, the sense around the team is that last season’s Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams will fill the role as the “veteran leader” of the squad.
To call a 22 year old, second year player, a veteran doesn’t make any sense but MCW is the most viable candidate on the Sixers roster to fill the role. Carter-Williams is coming off a monster rookie season, averaging 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.3 assists, clearly showing he has a future in this league. In fact, he was one of just four players to average at least 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists last season. The other three were Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Gordon Heyward.
As one of the tallest PG in the league at 6’6, MCW uses his length to his advantage on the defensive side of the ball. Just his size alone as a PG makes him a serious defensive threat. MCW averaged 1.9 steals per game last season which proved to be one of greatest strengths. As for his strengths on the offensive end, his passing greatly improved over the course of last season and we should expect more improvements this year in his passing game especially with the addition of Nerlens Noel down low. Another thing that I enjoyed watching last season was his skill to get into the lane effectively. Expect MCW’s offensive game to improve greatly this season because of experience and the addition of Noel.
Although last season was indeed an impressive start to a promising career, MCW does have some weaknesses. The majority of them come on the offensive end, where he shot only 40.5% from the floor last season. Like I said earlier, one of his pros was his ability to get into the paint but he missed a countless number of close opportunities around the bucket. He was basically told to stop chucking up three point shots by head coach Brett Brown because of his pitiful 26.4 success rate from beyond the arc. Word is that MCW is expected to improve his shooting this year which will help the Sixers immensely. One final argument against Carter-Williams would be turnovers. He turned the ball over 247 times last season in 70 games. That’s a ton of turnovers and way too many in my opinion. Hopefully, we’ll see some growth this season from the second year PG.
My final predictions for MCW this season: 75 games, 18 ppg, 5 rpg, and 7 apg. If he can cut down on the turnovers and improve his shooting ability this would be a quality second year stat sheet for the PG. Sam Hinkie is asking for a lot from MCW. He will be asked to be the veteran leader and as a 22 year old that can be a daunting task but I believe MCW is up for the challenge. He’s the future of this team and will hopefully be leading this team in a parade down Broad Street one day. Until that day comes, hard work and dedication is what will carry MCW to the top of the PG rankings.
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