Wednesday in Philadelphia Allen Iverson officially announced his retirement from the game of basketball which garnered all the headlines and rightfully so, but a game was still scheduled to be played later that night. The Sixers kicked off the new season against Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Nobody (including myself) gave Philly any remote chance of winning the game but that’s exactly what they did. Fans came for Lebron but left talking about rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams as he collected 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 9 steals as the 76ers picked up a huge upset 114-110 victory over the defending champs. In addition to a great stat line Carter-Williams broke the NBA record for most steals in an NBA debut with his nine thefts.
First came Hal Greer, then Maurice Cheeks and not to long after that a guy named Iverson in the long line of great Sixers point guards, but is Michael Carter-Williams next? Maybe I’m a bit ahead of myself but Iverson was in the building last night and Carter-Williams had a debut that was better than Iverson, against the World Champions at that. Check the stats below.
Debut Stats (Iverson & Carter-Williams)
Iverson: 37 Minutes, 12-19 shooting, 30 points, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 rebounds
Carter-Williams: 36 minutes, 6-10 shooting, 22 points, 12 assists, 9 steals, 7 rebounds,
Now obviously I’m not sitting here saying he is better then Iverson, that would be insane to say right now, but you've got to be excited after last night if you are a Sixers fan. This guy was flirting with a quadruple-double. At 6-feet-6 inches the former Syracuse guard possesses the height and length that not only gives the Sixers great lineup flexibility but he also brings great defensive versatility as he can guard positions from point guard to small forward. He still needs to bulk up a little bit but his length will always allow him to get his hands on the basketball and create chances for him and his teammates on the fast break.
Management clearly believes in the kid due to the fact that they traded Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for him. After one game against the champs the Sixers are 1 for 1, now lets see how he plays for 81 more games. The true mark of any great player in this league is when teams game plan for you. Can you adjust back when that happens? Well if the new Sixers guard maintains a high level of play then he will be game planed for.
Keep ballin young fella!