One of the things that many teams in the NBA prefer to do with their rotations is to have their starting and backup point guards play different stylistically. Look at teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and you’ll notice their backups to Chris Paul in recent years have been much less precise and clean than Paul and much more inclined to play with reckless-abandon.
Having dissimilar point guards isn’t a strategy that every front office or coaching staff in the league chooses to implement, but it’s also not an uncommon occurrence either. The biggest key, though, is to avoid redundancy and keep defenses guessing to some degree. In that regard, the Philadelphia 76ers might have a bit of an issue going forward.
While Michael Carter-Williams started out the season looking like a veteran in his prime in Philly, injuries and regression to the mean have cooled him down as of late, though he’s still looked quality. MCW has been more like what we expected he’d be out of college as of late, with sub-par shooting ability, above-average defense, and solid ability as a facilitator.
The problem that arises, though, is that the Sixers’ backup to Carter-Williams, another young player in Tony Wroten, is of the same mold as the guy he backs up. In many aspects of the game, their skills are a bit redundant.
While the Sixers have come out of the gate this season looking better than anyone could have anticipated, this redundancy at the point could be an issue for them moving forward. Once teams start to get a better scouting report on this Philly team, it will be relatively easily for teams to develop one defensive game plan to try and stifle both 76ers point guards. This Sixers team is still going to be better than expected, but this could be a problem that causes them to fall off as the season wears on.