ORLANDO, Fla. -- Michael Carter-Williams was the lone bright spot in the Sixers' loss to the Rockets at day one of the Orlando Summer League.
It started with his lime green sneakers that made their way to the paint time and again -- 10 of his game-high 26 points came at the foul line.
“I went in there with a lot of confidence,” Carter-Williams said of his pro debut. “I try to do everything for my team to win but we came up short. It is a long process and a learning experience. I am going to take things from today and try and fix them for tomorrow.”
The Sixers lost, 88-80, but they did salvage two points, winning the third and fourth quarter. New this year at the Orlando Summer League is a point system that will set up a championship bracket for Friday, the last day of the league. One point is awarded to the winner of each quarter and three points to the winner of the game. The team with the most points will be the top seed Friday and they will play the lowest seed. Winners advance to the next round before crowning a champion.
Carter-Williams filled out the stat sheet Sunday. He led the Sixers in rebounding with seven boards. He had a team-high eight assists to go with his 26 points, but unfortunately led the way in turnovers with nine -- six of them did come in the first half.
“He is ball dominant so he is going to have turnovers but we want to get them down,” Michael Curry said. “That is a big part of the focus with him but we also want him to make plays. He stays home; he stays aggressive and he doesn’t defer to anyone.”
“I turned the ball over a few times. Just simple mistakes but I will fix them by tomorrow,” Carter-Williams assured.
A number of NBA scouts commented that the kid from Syracuse has a bright future. He certainly stood out and he was a big reason the Sixers fought back from a 19-point deficit, cutting the lead to four points before losing by eight.
Jrue Holiday was an excellent point guard for the Sixers the past four years, but his successor has a chance to equal that in his own style.
“I want to keep building my confidence and say 'all right I can play with these guys,'” Carter-Williams said. “I can do well and I can compete everyday.”
“I think he comes in expecting to perform,” Curry said. “He sees himself as one of the best players to come out in this draft and he wants to perform that way. And the fact that we gave up Jrue for him that shouldn’t be on him. Hopefully if he does end up feeling that way we can defer some of that away from him and just let him make his own way and set the stage for his own career.”
Justin Holiday was not at the game. He flew to California to be Jrue’s best man at his wedding this weekend. The younger Holiday is marrying his long-time girlfriend Lauren Cheney, who is a member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Holiday will be back with the team on Monday. ... Travis Leslie’s groin was bothering him, limiting him to playing just the first 3:18 of the game. He received treatment before the game trying to warm it up, but it was clear he was struggling. Leslie is listed as day to day.