Michael Carter-Williams made a loud statement.In arguably his best – and most efficient – game in a 76ers uniform, the second-year point guard displayed an exciting glimpse into the future.
MCW had 14 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in 35 minutes as the Sixers throttled the Detroit Pistons, 89-69, Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Carter-Williams needed only 10 shots from the field while controlling the offense.
On the opposite end, he was terrific on defense and held D.J. Augustin to two points on 0-for-7 shooting.
MCW has scored more points in other games. He has compiled triple-doubles.
But this was a stellar all-around effort in every facet.
“[Coach Brett Brown] said I controlled the game well, and that’s the plan,” Carter-Williams said. “I found guys in the right spots and vocally, I was a leader out there. I didn't have to look for him to call plays. I knew what was working and what wasn't. I felt like I was in charge.”
MCW posted his eighth double-double, and over his last four games, he’s averaging eight assists.
“Michael was a point guard tonight,” Brown said. “He still played in a crowd a few times. His presence on the court and his size -- he's 6-6 and when he gets a smaller guard in his hip pocket and he can pass and play like he did, he can walk a game down. That's a special quality for a young point guard. He ran the team and controlled the tempo.”
Carter-Williams, the reigning Rookie of the Year, continues to improve under Brown’s tutelage. It’s not an easy task considering the Sixers are the youngest team in NBA history.
It’s not like MCW has the likes of LeBron James or Kevin Durant on the court alongside him.
“Michael is doing a great job of running the offense,” said Nerlens Noel. “He’s learning and we’re learning to succeed together. It’s great to see positive results.
MCW and Noel will compete in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend in Brooklyn. The game will match rookies against second-year players in a different format which will include teams of international competitors.
Before that showcase, MCW will continue to learn. If he continues to perform like he did against the Pistons, the future will be that much brighter.
“I’m just competing and listening to the coaches,” MCW said. “It’s definitely more fun when you’re winning because of the hard work and time that goes into it all. It is more fun when you’re on the winning end.”