Despite his early season struggles, Michael Carter-Williams isn’t the only one to blame for the Milwaukee Bucks rough start to the season. The offense and defense has struggled early this season with all the new players on the roster getting used to playing with each other, and compensating for the injuries to key players to begin the season.
Most Bucks fans probably didn’t expect an 0-3 start, but they did finally look much better in their first victory of the season on Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets, holding an opponent under 100 points for the first time this season.
Even though he finally had a full offseason to work with Jason Kidd and the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks staff, Carter-Williams still seems to struggle with the jump shot, and he tends to be careless with the basketball a little too often. With Jabari Parker still out, and one of their best options off the bench in O.J. Mayo sidelined with an injury, Carter-Williams has pressed in the early going.
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Good news for the Bucks is that Parker finally returns from injury to make his season debut at home Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The one glaring issue MCW has had on the court this season is committing too many turnovers, just like a season ago. In 25 games with the Bucks in 2014-15 he averaged 3.2 turnovers per game and in four games this year he is averaging 3.8 per game with six in the home opener against the New York Knicks.
With Parker due to make an impact very soon and Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring over 20 points per game through his first three games played, Carter-Williams should be able to worry more about distributing rather than scoring.
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Many Carter-Williams’ haters are Brandon Knight lovers, and of course comparing the two is easy considering they were traded for one another. While the Bucks record with Carter-Williams at the point does not look good compared to Knight’s, he hasn’t really had all of his options available to him.
Bucks fans got used to Knight being a jump-shooting point guard, which Carter-Williams is not. But as the season goes on, he will have all of his weapons available to him and he can play as the pass-first point guard we all hope he can become.
Even with struggling to handle the rock, he has still distributed it well, as well as put it in the basket early this season though. Through the first four games he is averaging 6.8 assists per game, which includes an 11 assist outburst in the 118-113 loss to the Washington Wizards. He is also averaging 12.8 points per game and 1.8 steals per contest.
Defense has been an issue for this team early on, which is very unlike the type of mentality they had at that end of the court just about all of last season, but they looked much better in Brooklyn. Carter-Williams was huge down the stretch, making plays on defense.
There isn’t one guy in particular to blame for the tough start to the season, but rather, a whole team problem that should be figured out as the season progresses.
The Bucks, however, do hope to hear good news about the injury MCW suffered at the very end of the game Monday night rolling his ankle after colliding with teammate Jerryd Bayless.
The injury may rule him out of Wednesday’s matchup with his former team the Philadelphia 76ers, but there’s no question that he’ll be excited to get back on the court and have the opportunity to play alongside Parker.
Though things started slow this season, the upcoming schedule seems promising with matchups against the Sixers, Knicks and Nets again, and the Boston Celtics this week.
While Parker and Tyler Ennis will most likely make their season debuts this evening, both Mayo and John Henson should also be ready to return from injury very soon.
When everybody is healthy once again, watch out for Carter-Williams to have a new opportunity to flourish.