Carter-Williams discusses his developing shot
Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams has a 16-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio through three preseason games. (USA Today Images)
A year ago, Michael Carter-Williams was preparing for his sophomore season at Syracuse. He proceeded to accumulate 271 assists in the regular season (7.3 per game), second most in Division I basketball last year.
Unfortunately, he committed 122 turnovers as well (3.4 per game). Carter-Williams’ assist-to-turnover ratio did not even crack the top 50 in the country.
He knew the turnovers were a problem, and he apparently decided not to bring them to the NBA.
The Sixers have committed 71 turnovers in three preseason games, and MCW is responsible for only one of them.
“Taking care of the ball is something I have been trying to work on,” Carter-Williams said. “I had a few turnovers in college, so I am trying to get better each and every day. In practice, I have had some turnovers, but I am working on taking care of the ball and making smart plays.”
MCW is leading the team in the preseason with 16 assists. Playing at the pace that Brett Brown insists upon and having that assist-to-turnover ratio (16-to-1) is astounding.
Brown swears he never mentioned to his rookie starting point guard: Take care of the ball or else.
“I didn’t say a word,” Brown said. “And I really would not have cared if he had seven turnovers at this stage. I didn’t say anything he just ended up with it.”
“It is a great sign especially when you don’t have anyone talking about it. Every coach wants to take care of the ball, and they should because you can’t throw the ball away, but he has avoided it and he has done that by himself.”
Taking care of the basketball has come easier for the rookie then other facets of the NBA game -- namely, the fact that he has to keep his hands to himself.
“In college you can hand check a little bit more,” Carter-Williams said. “I am playing defense like I did in college and the refs are saying, 'Watch your hands, watch your hands.' On the defensive end, you can’t really use your arms and hands, so in that aspect I think college is a little more physical, but the overall game, the NBA is a lot more physical.”
Carter-Williams and the Sixers will host the Nets at Wells Fargo Center Monday night for their fourth of seven preseason games.