Michael Carter-Williams is entering new territory in the final 26 games. Two of the team’s top four scorers are gone with the departure of Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes.
MCW ranks 22nd in the league in field-goal attempts, averaging 15.5 per game. That number was the highest on the Sixers even before the trade deadline.
In one game without Turner and Hawes, MCW attempted 19 shots Friday night. That number of shots is probably going to become the new norm as he closes out his rookie season.
“In regards to being a point guard and being a selfish scorer, because of the environment of the situation, I will stay on him to be aggressive but remember that he is a point guard,” Brett Brown said. “But that has been a fine line for all the scoring point guards from Tony Parker on down.”
Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Damian Lillard are starting point guards who all average more field-goal attempts per game than MCW.
Keeping company with those All-Stars is fine, but ultimately Carter-Williams needs to run a team.
“He does have to grow to be a point guard and get others involved and be cognizant of someone not getting touches or [if] someone is on James (Anderson) that can’t guard him,” Brown said.
MCW, last year’s 11th overall pick, is a player who can get to the rim. But Brown would also like to see that same player take pride in guarding his own basket.
“Most importantly for me, I am all over him defensively,” Brown said. “In regards to transition defense, toughness, taking pride, becoming angry when teams are scoring on us, you can’t just brush it off and go to the other end. That is not good enough. Grab a teammate and say, 'What the hell just happened?' That is my main mission. I want him to compete and us to compete.”
Newly acquired point guard Eric Maynor is in his fifth NBA season and he has played behind some extremely talented players like Wall, Lillard, Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook.
Maynor is prepared to share his experiences with Carter-Williams, on the practice court as well as through conversation.
“I think that will be one of the keys, me prepping him and giving him some knowledge from me being in the league five years and playing behind great point guards that have been in this league,” Maynor said. “Basically I will show him the ropes.”
And Brown is ready for experience to push youth -- at least from a competitive standpoint in practice.
“Everybody brother-in-laws everybody when you come in,” Brown said of the camaraderie amongst his players. “And you want somebody to just go whack them, get real and make practice physical and make it competitive. I don’t mind busting up Tony (Wroten) and Michael, and Michael seeing a different face and fiery type defender so I do think Eric can help Michael in that regard.”
“He is having a great year,” Maynor said of Carter-Williams. “I can tell him to just keep working hard. You don’t want to get too comfortable. I mean everybody knows what he is doing. I do believe he can be a special talent in this league.”