In four games without Michael Carter-Williams, the Sixers went 1-3 and lost by an average score of 116-105. (AP)
Expect to see Michael Carter-Williams in the Sixers' starting lineup this evening when they host the Toronto Raptors and try to snap a three-game losing streak, their longest of the season.
Carter-Williams has been sidelined for the past four games with a bruised arch in his left foot. He participated in a full shootaround this morning, working with the other four starters.
“I feel good,” Carter-Williams said. “I told Coach and the trainers that my foot feels good and that I am ready to go.”
Carter-Williams ranks seventh in the NBA in assists with 7.6 per game, and his 2.63 steals rank third. Before the injury Carter-Williams was shooting the ball better from behind the arc (39.5 percent) than from two-point range (38.6).
Among his rookie peers he is the leading scorer with 17.4 points. His nearest competitor is the Magic’s Victor Oladipo, who averages 11.7 points per game.
MCW has been sidelined for seven days but he is hoping to pick up where he left off.
“I am just going to go out there and be aggressive and try to keep playing the way I was,” Carter-Williams said. “I am not going to try and do anything extra; I am going to try and get my teammates involved and ease my way back into it. I am not going to try and play 110 percent, I am just going to play my game."
Carter-Williams used his time on the sidelines to rest his body and build up his NBA basketball IQ.
“I think the rest was good for me, rest is good for anybody,” Carter –Williams said. “My body was a little beat up but I am recovered now and I am all set.
“I see a lot from the bench. I haven’t been able to sit and watch a game. I gained a lot of things. Coach wanted me to sit with the coaches and I was listening to them talking, hearing what they saw on the court so when I go out there I can hopefully apply that.
“Sometimes when I am out there I don’t get to hear what all the coaches are saying but with that I was able to pick their brains on what I could do better."
With MCW back, Brett Brown’s bench gets a must needed scoring boost. Tony Wroten had been the starting point guard the past four games and his numbers have been impressive. He averaged 19.5 points, shooting 43 percent from the floor.
The Sixers' reserves rank 25th in scoring, averaging 28.1 points this season. With Wroten out of the mix that number dropped to 21.5. Had Brown not played the bench so much in the New Orleans blowout that number would have been significantly lower.