Despite winning Rookie of the Year in 2013, Michael Carter-Williams has settled down in his career and become a solid player. For the first time in his NBA career, MCW will be coming off the bench this year from day 1. Still, he seems like the type of player who could be a great fit in Milwaukee.
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For the most part, the Bucks are centered around prized youngster Giannis Antetokounmpo. With Giannis as the primary ball handler with the first unit, MCW is an awesome option to be his backup. Both players have similar play styles of attacking the basket and dishing out for assists, while also lacking a reliable three-point shot.
The fact that the Bucks are built around an athletic, tall point guard, it just makes sense for them to also have an athletic, tall point guard running the second unit.
At 6’6″, Carter-Williams has the huge advantage of being able to see and pass over most of his defenders. His ability to find his teammates for baskets is shown by his 26.6 Assist Percentage. Although his usage rate has decreased since his rookie year, MCW has never finished a season with less than five assists per game. Along with his passing ability, Carter-Williams is an above average rebounder for the point guard position, averaging over five per game for his career.
Defensively, MCW is quite serviceable. His length allows him to cover shooting guards as well as point guards, which makes him a versatile player, especially for the Bucks. He is reasonably quick, and has a great knack for creating turnovers, as evident by being the team leader in steal percentage at 2.5 percent. Along with a surprising number of blocks by the point guard, he is a valuable player for the Bucks’ bench.
The gaping hole in MCW’s game is his three-point shooting. For his career, Carter-Williams has shot 25.5 percent from three, a dismal rate for a guard. Because of his poor shooting, defenses tend to not pick him up until the free throw line, making it very difficult for him to penetrate the lane. Without his ability to drive, MCW struggles both scoring and passing, causing him to make mistakes.
In a related matter, Carter-Williams has far too many turnovers while handling the ball. Last season, he turned the ball over on 19.6 percent of his possessions. And for a player with a usage rate like MCW (21.3 percent), that turnover rate is even more of a negative.
Lastly, his free throw percentage is worrying for a guard. With a free throw percentage of 65.4 last season, he is not one to rely upon down the stretch of a ball game. He does a fair enough job reaching the line, but his success rate once getting there needs work. Without an improvement in his three-point shooting, decision-making, and free throw percentage, MCW could be in for a long season coming off the bench.