Philadelphia 76ers rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams has started off his NBA career at 100 mph, with alternately tantalizing and disastrous results, depending on the game. The 76ers, who have been tabbed as one of the weakest teams in the association by many NBA observers, traded their cornerstone point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night to secure the rights to the 5th overall pick. The pick became high risk/high reward center Nerlens Noel, who is likely out for most of the 2013-14 season. The 76ers chose 6'6" wafer-thin point guard Michael Carter-Williams with their own pick at number 11. New GM Sam Hinkie made the bold, and likely wise, decision to let go of any hope the Sixers might compete this year, and to move forward with an eye on 2015, when Noel might actually be healthy, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes might be gone, and Brett Brown has a better grip on exactly what MCW might be capable of on a week-to-week basis.
As of now, Carter-Williams is looking like a 16 year-old who has been given the keys to the beat-up, old family station wagon, and he is burning rubber up and down some one way streets. The results have been intriguing, if unpredictable. Basketball-reference.com creates a "Game Score" based on each individual's performance, taking into account scoring efficiency, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers. Each score falls somewhere close to an actual point total scored (0-45 in most cases), but evaluates the total performance. MCW played at Syracuse for two years. In his sophomore season, he shot only 39% from the field, 29% from the arc, but did manage to average 7.3 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and an astounding 2.7 steals. Though he was only at Syracuse for two years, MCW is 22 years old as a rookie. Through eight games (and a surprising 4 wins, though 6 of the 8 games have been in Philly), here are his game scores, including opponent:
- vs. Miami - Bursting onto the scene, MCW opened the Brett Brown era in Philly with a monster game against the Heat, who were worn down from an opening night clash with Chicago. . MCW managed an insane 9 steals against the sloppy Heat, and somehow dropped in 4 of 6 from long-range. 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and 9 steals. Quite the debut. And likely his best game of the season. Score: 34.7
- @ Washington - 14 points on 6 of 15 from the field, not exactly Mr. Efficiency, and 5 assists. John Wall wasn't going to let this young blood show him up. Score: 6.9
- vs. Chicago - 26 points on 10 of 22 shots, and, more importantly 10 dimes to only 4 turnovers against a very good defensive team. Three steals to boot. This was quite a surprise, but it might have had as much to do with Derrick Rose regaining his speed and stamina as it had to do with MCW's quickness and decision-making. Still, this was damn impressive. Score: 22.2