One of the first signees of this past summer for the Houston Rockets has quickly found himself out of the rotation after some poor play.
Michael Carter-Williams has had an interesting career path that saw him signing with the Houston Rockets on one of the first days of the most recent free agency. He’s gone from Rookie of the Year to a bench warmer who wasn’t getting minutes for an injured team.
The Rockets were very excited to see the potential of MCW this year in the D’Antoni offense. He’s not a shooter, but his passing and defensive instincts have always shown promise throughout his career.
That hasn’t quite worked out so far this season. Carter-Williams has been a disaster on both ends of the court. On offense, he’s disrespected for his lack of 3-point shot. On defense, he’s been less than impressive in the switching scheme and has been repeatedly beat off the dribble.
All that being said, MCW is no longer getting minutes for the team. He’s put up a total of six minutes during the three-game winning streak of the Rockets, all in the game against the Nets.
Where are his minutes going?
The Rockets have found more effective players to give the minutes of MCW to so far. Gary Clark has gotten the bulk of them, especially last game against the Pacers. He has been fantastic and a great surprise for the Rockets on a two-way contract. Read more about his emergence down below!
The minutes are also going to the starters and trusted rotation. Coach D’Antoni is starting to decrease his rotation earlier than expected, especially with the injury to Eric Gordon. Hopefully, when EG is back, the rotation will be a bit larger and still include the likes of Gary Clark and Gerald Green.
Future for MCW
For now, I’m assuming that Carter-Williams will stay out of the rotation. He’s a bad fit, and the preseason was a poor evaluation of how he could look with the Rockets.
With Jeff Bzdelik coming back soon, I wonder if the team will give him another chance due to his previous defensive abilities. He hasn’t shown them often yet this year, but under a better defensive coach, he may be able to contribute.
Personally, I hope he stays out of the rotation indefinitely. He should only be used if there is an injury (or two) to rotational players and if Brandon Knight hasn’t returned from injury yet. I always want a player to succeed, but when he’s dragging the team down that much, he shouldn’t play. Period.
We’ll see what happens to the rotation moving forward when Eric Gordon returns from injury.