Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/22/14
The Philadelphia 76ers made a bold move this past summer when they selected point guard Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th overall pick. He had a solid sophomore season at the University of Syracuse which then led to his first round selection. Even though he exceled in college, it was unclear as to whether or not he would have success at the professional level. Based on the way he performed in his rookie season, he certainly was able to silence the critics. Right off the bat, Carter-Williams proved that he had the ability to perform at a high level. In his first ever game against the Miami Heat, he had 22 points, along with 12 assists and 7 rebounds. Throughout the season he had his ups and downs, but truly showed what he is capable of. Prior to the start of the season, his name was not really discussed when it came to rookie of the year, but it surely is now. Carter-Williams led all rookies in points per game (16.7), assists (6.3), rebounds, (6.2), and steals (1.9). He became the first rookie to accomplish this since Alvan Adams did it back in 1975-1976. Most of the time, rookies spend a good portion of their time sitting on the bench and carefully evaluate the game up close. Carter-Williams spent time on the bench, but a majority of his learning came from being in the game. In 70 games this season, Carter-Williams averaged 34.5 minutes and was a key contributor on both sides of the ball. He led the team on offense, but was also able to provide some spark on defense with his pesky play. Follow isportsweb on twitter The way the Sixers were assembled this year, it almost seemed as if Carter-Williams had been around for a while. In a team full of guys who had never played in the NBA, it appeared they saw Carter-Williams as a veteran leader, even though it too was just his first season. He was able to thrive as the leader of the team, but it was not all good for him. Carter-Williams had his struggles during his rookie season as there is still plenty for him to work on. He made many good decisions on offense, but he also showed his immaturity. Carter-Williams was near the top of the NBA in turnovers per game with 3.5. This is expected from rookies who are playing at a fast pace, but is something he is going to have to work on. He will continue to learn the value of each possession and how to take better care of the ball. In addition to the turnover issue, he needs to improve his shooting ability. He is a good player around the basket, but is an inconsistent jump shooter. Shooting the three has never been a strong suit for Carter-Williams, and it showed this season. In his 70 games, he shot 208 threes but only converted on 55 of them. Also, look for Carter-Williams to put on a little more weight in the offseason. He has the height, but lacks the size and strength to overpower most of his opponents. Heading into the offseason, he has plenty of great aspects of his game that he can continue to build upon. In the final month of his rookie season, he played outstanding averaging 17.6 points per game and had a field goal percentage of .525. He more than likely will win the Rookie of the Year award which will give him a ton of confidence for next season. His supporting cast next year should also be much better, which will help him grow as a player even more. If he has a productive offseason and does what he needs to do, he should be able to top the numbers he posted this past season. Carter-Williams has earned the respect as a famous sports figure in the city of Philadelphia, so now he has to embrace the role he has been given and try to repeat the success he had as a rookie. Read more about Sixers news and opinions on our Philadelphia 76ers page The post Evaluating Michael Carter-Williams rookie season appeared first on isportsweb.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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