Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for the third time this season on Tuesday afternoon. Minnesota's Gorgui Dieng took home the Western Conference honors.
MCW's accolade comes after the former Syracuse guard led all rookies in scoring (14.9 ppg), rebounding (8.4 rpg), assists (6.5 apg) and steals (1.75 spg) in March. Also of note, he tallied four double-doubles, and hung a triple double on March 10 in the team's 123-110 loss to the Knicks which came on that last-second assist in Madison Square Garden. The NBA also noted that Carter-Williams recorded eight games with two or more steals on the month, and ranks fourth in the league for the season with 1.97 thefts per contest.
Forget the numbers for a moment, Carter-Williams deserves this award for simply maintaining his composure during that God-awful 26-game losing streak. While article after article was published that the Sixers' constant losing would be toxic for is ultimate development and poisonous for the organization's overall building plans, MCW took it all in stride and played some of his best basketball of the season in March while other top Rookie of the Year candidates like Victor Oladipo clearly hit a rookie wall.
Sure, Carter-Williams essentially had a 3:2 assist to turnover ratio in the month and he turned the ball over in several key situations that directly resulted in late-minute losses, but his responded tremendously to Sam Hinkie trading away his two top scoring options in Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner. The fact that MCW is still averaging 6.5 assists per game with James Anderson, Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims in his starting lineup is almost unfathomable.
This kid's a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year. Giving the nod to any other first-year player would be an absolute travesty.