One thing that has stood out about Michael Carter-Williams is his effectiveness in using his long frame in shutting down smaller guards. The Sixers certainly missed that on Friday evening.
The rookie sensation from Syracuse was forced to sit out versus the Atlanta Hawks with a left heel bruise, giving Hawks guard Jeff Teague the chance to go off. He did just that.
Teague ended the first half with 10 points on 3-5 shooting, but it was Al Horford and DeMarre Carroll who carried early. Horford took it to Spencer Hawes down low early, raining in the jump hooks and finishing the half with 12 points. Carroll, a 27.6% career shooter from three apparently figured out how to hone his craft just before facing the Sixers, as he drained three shots from beyond the arc early, including one to beat the buzzer at the end of the second quarter. He'd finish the night with an astounding 21 points, and 5-8 from deep. Lou Williams also saw his first NBA action since January after tearing his ACL, and saw 16 minutes of action on the evening.
For the Sixers, it was Evan Turner and Tony Wroten who were the difference makers in the first half. Wroten was able to attack the hoop with ease early on, and finished with 11 points for the first half. Not only was the jump shot falling for Turner once again, but he repeatedly executed on backdoor cuts with some help from Hawes. The threat of Hawes being able to shoot from deep forced Al Horford to step out on the Sixers big man, thus leaving the paint rather open if Turner were able to get by Kyle Korver. ET had no issues there.
The second half was sheer and utter dominance for the Hawks on the pick and roll, as Teague and Horford ran it to a T. The pair combined for 55 of the Hawks 113 points, most of which came well within the paint.
Turner finished the game with 27 points, while the ever so loved Tony Wroten had 22 to go with 6 assists.
Philadelphia heads to New Orleans on Saturday to face Jrue Holiday for the first time since the draft day trade.