Now, the bad news. Only one gets another chance this season.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Sixers have lost 18 straight games. The last time they won, Time Warner and Comcast hadn’t announced their merger, the Super Bowl hadn’t been played and the greatest single-take shot in television history hadn’t yet aired.
The Sixers have been historically bad during their skid. They have lost by an average of 18.8 points. They have not led in the fourth quarter of any game. A dozen of their losses have come to teams under .500, including a handful against teams with the top rookies.
Let’s skip back to March 2, when Philadelphia visited Orlando. Magic guard Victor Oladipo, who had rung up 17 points and 11 rebounds on the Sixers just four days earlier, had another opportunity to put up some numbers but was slowed by a bum ankle and managed just nine points in a 92-81 win.
Orlando has lost seven of its last nine games. Both wins are against Philadelphia.
On Saturday, the Sixers hosted Utah, which ended a five-game slide with a 104-92 victory. Jazz guard Trey Burke handed out eight assists – his best total in 10 games – and followed by scoring 20 points in consecutive games for just the second time this season.
On Monday, Philadelphia visited New York, which maintained its momentum with a 123-110 victory. Knicks guard Tim Hardaway, who had totaled just 21 points in his last four games, erupted for 28, one off his season high.
And on Wednesday, the Sixers were back home against Sacramento, which snapped a three-game losing streak with a 115-98 win. Kings guard Ben McLemore scored 15 points, matching his best output of 2014.
Wanna get your game back on track? Play the Sixers.
Meanwhile, Carter-Williams hasn’t exactly been scintillating in those four games. Yes, he went for 17 with 11 boards vs. Orlando and had a triple-double at New York. He also scored a season-low four points vs. Utah and shot just 37 percent (22-of-59) with 23 turnovers.
Among the top rookie scorers, only Hardaway gets another shot at Philadelphia when New York visits the City of Brotherly Love on March 21. Nick Calathes of Memphis, Tony Snell of Chicago, Cody Zeller of Charlotte and Kelly Olynyk of Boston each have two more games and must be licking their lips.
Meanwhile, you have to feel a bit for Carter-Williams. His candidacy for Rookie of the Year hasn’t been helped by the fact that he is quarterbacking a team that has lost 18 in a row – and could lose 18 more in a row. Yes, Philadelphia is that bad.
But think of it this way: Imagine how good Carter-Williams’ numbers would be if he got to play against the Sixers.
On to the rankings.