Michael Carter-Williams has come back to Earth after having an amazing start. His numbers are still very good, but not nearly as well as he did early on. January has been a rough month for the rookie point guard.
A combination of the NBA‘s schedule and the wear and tear of playing nearly 35 minutes per game is a lot for a rookie. Carter-Williams is no exception. He’s hit the rookie wall and the Philadelphia 76ers need to decrease his minutes even at the sacrifice of a close game.
This season has been a long one for the 14-29 Sixers, so resting Carter-Williams won’t make a difference. Cutting Carter-Williams’ minutes will decrease his chances of suffering a career-threatening injury as he leads all rookies in minutes per game.
Victor Oladipo and Trey Burke are the only other rookies to average over 30 minutes per game. The significant minutes speeds Carter-Williams’ development, but is showing his tiredness is taking over.
He’s averaging 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 32.7 minutes per game for the month of January. His numbers have taken a dip this month, particularly on defense. His steals have fallen drastically in comparison to 2.5 he’s averaging this season.
Carter-Williams averages 17.6 points, 6.6 assists and 5.8 rebounds in 32 games this season. He’s leads all rookies in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and double-doubles.
The Sixers will have to play seldom-used backup Lorenzo Brown more. Brown may not even qualify as backup point guard for most teams, but he’ll at least give Carter-Williams a chance to rest. Worst-case, the Sixers can split time between Brown, Elliot Williams and Tony Wroten as Carter-Williams’ backups.