Carter-Williams' slump far from an anomaly

Carter-Williams' slump far from an anomaly

Jim & Dei Lynam on their concerns with the Sixers

January 19, 2014, 5:00 pm
Share This Post

Michael Carter-Williams has shot 6 of 29 from the field to go along with 10 turnovers in his last two games. (AP)

If you see Michael Carter-Williams, please return him to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers' starting point guard has been invisible for the last two games and, not coincidentally, the Sixers lost those two games by a combined 40 points.

Carter-Williams played in both contests but resembled nothing of the player he looked like in the previous 27 games.

He shot 6 of 29 from the field and committed 10 turnovers. The immediate conclusion might be to say he's hit that rookie wall.

Last year at Syracuse, Carter-Williams played 1,409 minutes in 40 games. To date with the Sixers, he's played 1,004 minutes in 29 games. What the numbers do not say is that the physicality of and talent in the NBA game is far greater than that in college.

Carter-Williams, to his credit, took the league by storm. He was rookie of the month for November, averaging 16.8 points, 6.8 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.4 steals. But this league is about adjustments, scouting, and taking away the opponent's strengths.

In the last two games, MCW went up against two of the most disciplined teams the NBA has to offer: Miami and Chicago. The Heat and Bulls were each surprised once by the Sixers. The second go-around, they did their homework.

Carter-Williams will find his way out of this slump. He is hardly the first rookie of the year candidate to hit this kind of bump in the road.

The reigning rookie of the year, Damian Lillard, endured a three-game stretch last season in which he shot 1 of 16, 10 of 18 and 4 of 15. It happens. Lillard still finished the season averaging 19 points and 6.5 assists.

Furthermore, Brett Brown can attest to the growing pains of a once-young point guard who many thought would be shipped off in exchange for a veteran.

A Tony Parker-for-Jason Kidd trade was the talk of 2003, when the Spurs were playing the Nets for the NBA title. The Spurs won the series in six games, but Kidd -- who was becoming a free agent that summer -- outplayed Parker. The rumors went away once Kidd re-signed with the Nets that summer, and Parker has since solidified himself as a future Hall of Famer.

Patience paid off for the Spurs.

And Parker got through -- as MCW will -- the growing pains of becoming an elite NBA point guard.