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We can’t stop talking about Michael Carter-Williams’ debut

Oct 31, 2013, 1:22 PM EDT

Michael Carter-Williams’ Sixers debut was nothing short of scintillating. He dropped 22 points on 10 shots, 12 assists and nine steals — the latest a record for a rookie’s first NBA game — to lift a team with Vegas’ lowest over/under win total in a decade to a 114-110 win over the two-time defending World Champion Heat that was much more lopsided than the score suggests.

But, you could argue, that wasn’t his biggest contribution.

Consider how Williams, the Sixers No. 11 overall pick this year, elevated the play of his teammates, two in particular.

Evan Turner sank 26 points on 19 shots, something he’d done only four times prior in his 226 game career.

Spencer Hawes stuck 24 points on 14 shots. Had never done that before in a single game in six NBA seasons.

These links offer an idea of the type of players capable of that efficiency. Also worth noting: last year’s Sixers, with Jrue Holiday at the point, punched only nine games like Turner’s last night, and only one like Hawes’.

Sure, Turner and Hawes deserve credit for their singular efforts. As does new head coach Brett Brown, who may know stuff about this basketball thing. It was just one game, and a consummate trap game for the Heat, something Brown conceded afterward. Dwyane Wade didn’t play, leaving someone named Roger Mason Jr. responsible for guarding Turner. Blah, blah, blah.

But on a night the Sixers honored Allen Iverson, inarguably one of the greatest talent’s in Philadelphia sports history, but also one whose style dictated that he be the NBA leader in field goal attempts four times in 12 seasons and in the top five in 10, it’s worth noting the benefit of a distributor, creator, enhancer. A “make everybody better” guy.

That’s what MCW was last night, what the Sixers need him to be throughout what looks like it has a chance to be a promising career. At least if you put any stock in where his 12 assists in his debut last night ranks in league history:

Most Assists in Career Debut – NBA History

1973 Ernie DiGregorio BUF 14
Tonight Michael Carter-Williams PHI 12
2012 Damian Lillard POR 11
1994 Jason Kidd DAL 11
1981 Isiah Thomas DET 11
1978 Maurice Cheeks PHI 11
*Source: Elias Sports Bureau

So enjoy all of this…

…and, definitely, this…

…but remember, MCW’s biggest contribution to this team will be his ability to lift the play of those around him. Hopefully starting next season.

video via TBL

  1. John - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    I hope someone tells this kid they were supposed to tank this year.

    • Steve - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      Yeah,they are going to have to bring back Doug Collins so he can sit this kid and not mess with a well conceived plan.What a great start to hopefully,a long and prosperous career in philly. The kid looks like he has game.

  2. Bart Cohen - Oct 31, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    I used the Basketball Reference Player Game Finder to find the best career debuts (by Game Score) going back 50 years (i.e., not including Wilt). MCW didn’t just crush all the others–he did a Bob Beamon on them.


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