Carter-Williams, Noel to represent Team USA in Rising Stars Challenge

January 29th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | Filed under Basketball, General, Sixers.

The Sixers first two prized possessions of the start of the rebuild back in the 2012 draft who were acquired for Jrue Holiday are headed to the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams were selected to represent Team USA in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge that will take place Friday, February 13th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Carter-Williams’ numbers have regressed a bit this season after winning the Rookie of the Year award, but still is stuffing the stat sheet on a daily basis. He is averaging 15.3 points, 7.1 assists, and 6 rebounds per game this season while shooting 38% from the floor. The assists are the lone stat that are up from last year when Carter-Williams finished with 6.3 assists per game. A good part of the blame can be put on the surgery on his shoulder that he had over the summer that didn’t allow him to practice and work on his shooting. Over his last nine games, however, Carter-Williams has averaged 17.4 points, 6.3 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals per game while shooting 41.4% from the floor over that stretch. The selection to play for the USA team is well deserved for Carter-Williams as he has been the one of very few players, and at times the lone player responsible for any success that the Sixers have found over the last two seasons.

Along with Carter-Williams, the Sixers Nerlens Noel has also been selected to represent Team USA. Noel, in his official rookie year, is averaging 8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 1.5 steals so far this year. Numbers which are very impressive for the young big man who some were unsure about as far as his success at the NBA level. Watching Noel this year has been very refreshing. It is so nice to watch an active defender at the rim in a Sixers uniform, which is something the team hasn’t had in a long time. Noel seems to find a way to make the little plays throughout a game, and while he is still raw and developing his entire game, he has shown some really nice promise going forward. Along with his intensity on defense and his slowly improving offensive game, highlighted by some top-10 dunks, Noel has shown improvement as the year has gone on.

Here are monthly splits on Noel this season:

  • October (2 games): 10 ppg, 10 rpg, 3 bpg
  • November (12 games): 7.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1 bpg
  • December (13 games): 7.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.5 bpg
  • January (14 games): 8.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.9 bpg

There is no question that Noel and Carter-Williams are the top bright spots on the Sixers, and that is a great sign since they were the first two building blocks to the rebuilding process. This has to be a step in the right direction for not only the organization, but also fans of the Sixers to see their two young pieces playing well enough to earn recognition to the Rising Stars Challenge.

*Side Note: The last time two Sixers were selected in the same year for this event was back in 2005 when Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodala represented the team.


Follow Sam Shipley on Twitter: @samshipley5

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