Michael Carter-Williams is becoming must-see NBA TV — 17.7 points a game plus 7.3 assists a game playing at the fastest pace in the league. And don’t forget the 3.1 steals a game.
But this weekend the early leader in the Rookie of the Year race will be sitting out with a sore knee. He is not in Charlotte with the team and will be out Friday night at least. Here are some details from Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com.
Carter-Williams has a sore right knee after going knee to knee with someone in Sunday’s game at Detroit. Carter-Williams played 34 minutes in that game and on Tuesday played 46 minutes in the double-overtime win against Orlando — a game in which MCW recorded his first ever triple-double.
MCW was hurting in the locker room afterwards, even after receiving treatment. Wednesday he got treatment again in an effort to reduce the swelling in his knee, and Thursday he did the same.
Could Carter-Williams push through it and play? Probably. Should the Sixers get him to do that? No. No way.
Aside the fact they are not really targeting a playoff spot this season anyway, you don’t want to risk further injury to the kid quickly becoming the face of your franchise. Learning to play through a little pain is one thing, but sore knees is just not something you want him trying to compensate for.
The jump from college ball to the NBA in terms of games — in number, frequency and physicality — is big. Carter-Williams played in 66 games total in two years at Syracuse, he’s already at 15 in this NBA season and we are just starting December. For young players (especially ones who could stand to put on a few pounds of muscle) it takes a while to adjust. Let that come along at his pace.