Michael Carter-Williams is the most attractive piece of the Sixers’ current puzzle.
His play excites fans and gives them reason to believe a bright future will one day replace this 7-19 state.
Carter-Williams has had two straight practices after dealing with a right knee infection.
With the Nets coming to town on Friday night, will the rookie point guard be in the Sixers’ starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 3?
“He is definitely not definitely,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said, getting a chuckle out of the assembled media. “Nobody is making a 100 percent commitment to him playing. We think he is. He has practiced well, so we assume he will be in the lineup.”
“I have had two good practices,” Carter-Williams said. “I felt good. I was shooting after, so I am ready to go.”
Carter-Williams, who has missed the last seven contests, is officially a game-time decision. However, there is plenty of optimism surrounding his status.
MCW certainly spoke like a man that intends to play. He was aware of the Sixers’ scouting report for Friday’s game against Brooklyn, which had plenty to do with slowing down the Nets’ backcourt duo of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.
“We can’t let Joe get off early. We can’t let him get in a rhythm,” Carter-Williams said of Johnson, who scored a season-high 37 points against the Sixers on Monday. “We have to make him take tough shots and stay down on Deron and keep him in front. They are tough, tough guards and they are going to be a challenge for us, but we are going to go out there and be aggressive.”
Carter-Williams is not pain free. He said the pain in his knee is a one or a two on the scale of 1 to 10.
Carter-Williams is prepared to deal with some soreness when he gets back out on the court and his coach is ready to see some rust.
“We will be smart, but he will play,” Brown said. “We are not going to wrap him up. We will be smart with it and inch him along. There are going to be some growing pains getting him back in the mix, but we are not going to be too restrictive.
“He is not that precious. He’ll be fine. He’ll get through, it but we will be smart. We are going to have to bite our lip.”
Carter-Williams missed four games earlier in the season with a bruised arch in his foot. When he returned to the court from that injury, he shot just 2 of 10 for 10 points to go along with six rebounds, six assists and six turnovers.
“That was my first time coming back from an injury and this is my second time,” Carter-Williams said. “I am looking to adjust to it and that I am not as rusty as the first time I came back.”
Rusty or not, Brown is just excited to get his floor general back.
“I am thrilled that he is back,” he said. “I am thrilled that he is with me and I am glad that he is a Philadelphia 76er, 22-year-old, rookie point guard.”