Despite all of the darkness of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ horrible 7-19 record, there are some bright spots and some players that are putting up good numbers statistically. There are some players that are performing well enough to make general manager Sam Hinkie look smart. They are also players who are performing much better than they were expected to, making head coach Brett Brown look good for getting the most out of his players.
Two stories in particular that I want to touch base on are the performances of rookie Michael Carter-Williams and second year guard Tony Wroten. Carter-Williams is likely the runaway candidate for rookie of the year, averaging 17.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists, and Wroten is playing much better than he did his rookie season, averaging 13.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He has especially thrived as a starter while filling in for the injured MCW. In 11 games as a starter, Wroten is averaging 18.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
Wroten has been so explosive offensively that Brown has said he might start Wroten and MCW together when he returns from injury as early as tomorrow night’s game. The Sixers have struggled to find production from the shooting guard position, starting with James Anderson and, most recently, with Hollis Thompson. But even though all pairings have failed so far, this one would not work either.
First off, both of these players only succeed when they have the ball in their hands. Neither player is a good enough shooter to play off the ball, and it is tough to run a fluent offense with two ball dominant point guards. It would also leave them in a liability defensively. I know it would give them a height advantage, with Wroten and MCW both being 6-foot-6, but that might provide a disadvantage when it comes to sticking with some of the quicker, smaller guards in the league.
Wroten is more suited to come off the bench, because he can be the first option on offense. If he is playing with guys like MCW and Evan Turner, his skills become limited because he won’t be able to get as many shots up. Not to mention the bench would be absolutely atrocious if Wroten stayed in the starting lineup permanently.