Carter-Williams for Rookie of the Year anyone?
It's no secret by now, the Sixers could end the year with one of the league's worst records. That fact shouldn't take away from what people will see when they watch a game, though.
Energy, plus athleticism, plus youth, equals the team Philadelphia's put together. Talent wasn't one of those words, but it doesn't need to be yet.
The Sixers are sloppy and sometimes out of control, but above all they're fun.
Here are some reasons as to why Philly is worth watching this season.
Welcome to the NBA, Michael Carter-Williams.
The rookie point guard opened his career up with 22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and nine steals against the Miami Heat. That's great and all, but what was his most surprising statistic? That would be one turnover in 36 minutes.
Syracuse.com's Donna Ditota wrote about Carter-Williams' performance. Here's what the former Syracuse University player had to say about his first game:
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It couldn't have gone any better. I was all excited up in here. I'll be excited tonight, celebrate with my family and then back to work tomorrow.
I think I'm pretty confident in my game. I've worked real hard to get to this moment. I don't have any doubt in myself. I know we're playing a great team. That's how the game goes. I'm going to go out there and try hard and try to lead my team to a win.
Carter-Williams' nine steals happened to set a record for most steals in a NBA debut. Adding 12 assists to his defense rounded out his performance:
I was figuring out their defense a little bit. I was able to get steals, that was a big plus. And guys were cutting to the hoop, I was getting passes to them and they were finishing. Everything was clicking tonight.
The rookie played great, and it's only a sneak preview of what's to come.
The next 81 games will be worth watching for Carter-Williams alone. He could really be something special.
Brett Brown's System
The Sixers probably don't have Brett Brown's ideal roster for his system, but it doesn't mean that he's not going to implement some of his principles.
It'll be interesting to see if he matches his system to his players or his players to his system. There is a huge difference.
Philadelphia has notoriously had a young and athletic squad. The team hasn't been full of sharpshooters who can light it up from anywhere on the floor. Instead, it's had slashers who specialized in getting to the basket and attacking off the dribble. That's great and all, but the Sixers haven't had a coach who's appropriately utilized the roster's talents.
Coaching Philly will be Brown's first gig as a head coach. If he's smart, he'll run a system with an up-tempo offense that looks to get players into the open court. Defensively, applying heavy ball pressure and random traps will be another way to take advantage of the players at his disposal.
We get a chance to watch the development of both the Sixers and Brown as a head coach.
It'll be a sneak peek into what the future could hold.
The Race for the No. 1 Draft Pick
Beating the defending NBA champions in the first game of the season doesn't help the Sixers get any closer to having the worst record in the league.
Philadelphia winning its season opener against arguably the NBA's best team should have eliminated all talk of them ending the season with the worst record of all time. That's great and all, but we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves.
Are the Sixers really as bad as people think they are?
The Sixers are still one of the league's worst teams.
As impressive as the win was, it's ridiculous to put too much stock into one game. There's nothing about beating the Heat that suddenly turns Philly into a team with a good shot at making the postseason.
If anything, winning on opening night against somebody like Miami should be a sign telling us to pay attention to the Sixers during the 2013-14 season. They might not be too skilled, but they're certainly a lot of fun to watch.
The lack of talent could actually be a good thing, though.
There is an amazing amount of hype surrounding the 2014 draft class. Andrew Wiggins' future is already being compared to that of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He's got video game-like athleticism, combined with a smooth jumper and a desire to play defense. Pretty rare traits for a kid entering college.
Wiggins is great, but the class also boasts players like Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Marcus Smart. The most amazing part of all is that those are just some of the many names who could end up being top picks. This is a loaded draft class and one that is full of players with the potential to positively affect a team's future.
The worse Philadelphia finishes, the better its chances for the No. 1 pick in the highly anticipated 2014 draft.
Watching the journey toward getting there should definitely be an exciting one.