Carter-Williams heads into break ready to regroup

Carter-Williams heads into break ready to regroup

Celestand on another blowout loss for the Sixers

February 11, 2014, 4:30 pm
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Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams will particiapte in the Rising Stars Challenge and the NBA's skills competition in New Orleans this weekend. (USA Today Images)

SALT LAKE CITY -- One more game to play and then Michael Carter-Williams is off for the experience of a lifetime.

He will represent the Sixers at the NBA’s All-Star weekend in the Rising Stars Challenge and the Skills Competition on Saturday.

But on the heels of consecutive defeats by a combined 88 points, a reprieve seems in order for everyone associated with the team.

Carter-Williams has no intention of shortchanging his All-Star experience. He even plans on attending the All-Star Game on Sunday.

“I think it will just be nice to be there,” Carter-Williams said. “I really just want to soak it all in.”

That’s what MCW should do.

However, when he returns for the Sixers' final 28 games of the season, it would behoove Carter-Williams and the Sixers if he returned to the form that earned him rookie of the month twice this season.

“Myself, I am playing in a little bit of a slump,” Carter-Williams admitted.

MCW posted double-figure assists in eight of the first 20 games he played. He has done so just once in the 21 games that followed.

The Sixers are 5-4 in his double-digit assist games.

“With Michael, particularly when he gets frustrated, he tries to get to the rim on the world, not recognizing, crowds and not recognizing shot blockers,” coach Brett Brown said. “Playing in that type of traffic produces low percentage shots and turnovers.”

In his last five games, MCW has committed 26 turnovers, including a career-high eight in Sunday’s loss to the Clippers.

And then the very first possession of the game at Golden State on Monday night, the rookie drove baseline, jumped in the air and turned looking back toward the foul line.

He proceeded to throw the ball into a sea of white jerseys.

“At the end of the day he needs to remember he is a point guard,” Brown said. “That is really important -- you are a point guard.”

MCW’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.8. That number ranks 39th among 44 eligible point guards.

Backup point guard Tony Wroten’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.05.

Neither player should be asked to be Chris Paul at this stage of their careers, but the Clippers’ All-Star point guard has the highest assist to turnover ratio in the NBA at 4.36.

The most important thing for Carter-Williams and Wroten to grasp is the significance of that statistic.

“The dilemma is that both of those two young players can get to the rim quite often and at times easily with their size because they are both 6-foot-6,” Brown said. “With that comes a responsibility if you don’t execute it perfectly. So to me [Carter-Williams’] slump is born out of that.

“He had eight turnovers the other night trying to force things. He was playing in a crowd and the athletic team that the Clippers are exposed that.”