Rookie Michael Carter-Williams put together an underwhelming performance, going just 1-5 from the floor and 0-3 from beyond the arc in nearly 23 minutes of action. On his only bucket of the day, Carter-Williams did a good job of getting to the rim and dropping in a tough layup for two. Carter-Williams saw the floor pretty well during his time on the floor, dishing out six assists, and showed decent floor vision without forcing any poor passes. However, he spend a decent amount of time on the floor without the ball in his hands as the Sixers ran a three guard set we're likely to see throughout the season. Brown opted to allow Darius Morris to bring up the ball, as Tony Wroten spent time at the two with Carter-Williams on the wing. Wroten and Morris put together decent games, combining for 28 points on 6-8 shooting, but their scoring opportunities only came when they were able to attack the rim as the primary ball handler on the floor. Getting Wroten and Carter-Williams to create shots without the ball in their hands will truly be a struggle this season.
Defensively, the young guards were able to use their length to pick off a multitude of Bilbao passes, and get out in transition. Also notable was MCW's struggles with Alex Mumbru, Bilbao's small forward who beat the former Syracuse guard to the basket repeatedly, using the fifty pound difference between them to his advantage. In between shooting drills at practice, Carter-Williams might want to hit the weight room.
Getting To The Line
If there's anything that gives you any faith in this team, it's their willingness to attack the basket. Philadelphia went 34-46 (73.9%) from the line, while Bilbao went to the line just 32 times. Both Wroten and Evan Turner, each going 10-12. It's important for both players, as neither has a reliable jumper to hitch onto (especially Wroten), and will need to get to the rim and draw contact if they want to score. For a team that ranked second to last in free throws attempted last season, it's a big step in the right direction.
Turner looked like a man trying to get himself traded to a fringe contender at the deadline on Sunday night. In 30 minutes of action, Turner shot 7-15 from the floor, finishing the evening with a cool 25 points. ET did a good job of not just settling primarily for jumpers, and driving the paint in hopes of finishing a easy layup or getting himself to the line. When he decided to show off his perimeter shot, Turner did a tremendous job of creating separation for himself in order to rise up over the defender and knock down his patented "no arc" shot on multiple occasions. Granted, he still had five turnovers, and I wonder if his inability to create scoring chances without the ball in his hands could stunt the growth of Carter-Williams, but if all goes well he'll be gone by February and the Sixers will have more picks.
NBA draft fever, more contagious than the chicken pox in elementary school.
There is no hope. Make every shot.
James Anderson may be one of the few things that could bring a smile to my face this year. Seeing as he's the only person on the team who can make a perimeter shot with some consistency as well as drive the rim, he's certainly showing why he deserves to be in Philadelphia's starting five this year. When tank-a-mania is all said and done, he still could be a guy worth keeping around.
The Sixers take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tomorrow at 3:00 PM in Manchester.