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

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

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.

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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

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.