BREAKDOWN—Burke and MCW in midst of rookie doldrums

Tonight, two struggling teams with two struggling rookie point guards will go head to head. The 9th pick of a poor draft (Trey Burke) is at the helm for the Jazz, and the 11th pick (Michael Carter-Williams) is at the controls for the Sixers.

Both of them have been scuffling. Here is a breakdown of Burke and MCW for the last five, 10 and 20 games.

Note: League average EFG% is 50 (weighs 3-point shots) and True Shooting% is 52.7 (accounts for 3-pointers and FTs).

burke and mcw last 5 10 20How concerned should Jazz and Sixers fans be about their struggling point guards? For the season, Burke has an EFG% of 43.5 and MCW has an EFG% of 42.4. In True Shooting % MCW is better (he goes to the line more) at 47.6% and Burke is 46.5%.

Using these two metrics, I ran a basketball-reference search on rookie guards who played at least 20 minutes a game and had an EFG% below 44 and a True Shooting % below 48 over the past 20 years.

40 players come up.

burke mcw rookie top 20

burke mcw rookie next 20The next list I did was the same search, but I eliminated the rookie element and entered 22 years and younger. Michael Carter-Williams is 22 years old and research says the older the player/rookie the less developmental growth.

burke mcw under 22 1st 20

burke mcw under 22 next groupThese players cover a vast spectrum.

The following point guards over the past 20 years have had similar beginnings to Burke and Michael Carter Williams: Jason Kidd, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings, Kemba Walker, Mookie Blaylock, Jamaal Tinsley, Shaun Livingston, TJ Ford, Sebastian Telfair, Dajuan Wagner, Bobby Hurley, Mark Macon, Speedy Claxton, Brian Shaw, Gary Grant and Antionio Daniels.

The common thread in all of these is they were early draft picks who got lots of opportunities on mostly bad teams. Jason Kidd turned into a Hall of Famer, Rajon Rondo has been an All-Star. Jennings and Walker are still developing, and the rest of the group had a hard time establishing themselves as starting point guards in the NBA.

Tough circumstances for both Burke and MCW to enter the league. Traditionally, first-year numbers of point guards aren’t always the best indicators of future performance. Will be interesting to watch these two as their careers are intertwined by draft position.

Here are the links to the searches – this is the first search:

Here is the second search: