The Sixers are a significantly better team with Michael Carter-Williams on the floor.
There have been a couple of Philadelphia 76ers power rankings up to this point, but it's time to look at the final one for the first half of the season.
Philadelphia has been one of the most visible teams going for the "tanking" strategy. The problem is that the Sixers haven't been doing the best job of losing. Separate three- and four-game winning streaks make up seven of Philly's 12 wins.
Seeing this team come up with winning streaks like those is a surprise in itself. It's just unfortunate how much it could end up hurting the Sixers and their quest for the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
They've been stringing together some wins based on some extraordinary performances by certain players on the roster, though. Let's take a look at who's played the best basketball and power rank everybody on the team.
Williams' production has started to increase recently.
Elliot Williams has the unfortunate job of being given some of the most inconsistent playing time on the Sixers. One night he'll play 22 minutes but then only get seven the following night. He's the definition of a role player.
Getting random playing time is definitely a difficult task, but Williams seems like he's slowly getting used to the role. He's scored in four straight games after not putting up any points in the three prior contests.
Williams is likely to get bumped off this list when Arnett Moultrie returns to the lineup, but he managed to sneak into one of Philadelphia's power rankings. Not too shabby.
Davies is a great hustle guy.
It almost feels like a record is on repeat when talking about Brandon Davies. Hustle, energy and work ethic are all thrown into the conversation at random times in order to describe his style of play.
Well, maybe the record is on repeat for a reason. There's a reason that Davies—who averages the team’s second-fewest minutes per game—hasn’t been sent down to the D-League. His average of 11.7 minutes doesn't even make up a full quarter of a basketball game, yet he's kept his spot on the team secured strictly based off his willingness to go all out.
Davies has been one of Philadelphia's pleasant surprises—even if his contributions don't show up in the box score.
Lavoy Allen is the same player he was three years ago.
Lavoy Allen has been and will continue to be one of the Sixers' most frustrating players. Over the course of three NBA seasons, Allen's numbers have remained almost unchanged. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if we were talking about him as a consistent player, but it has nothing to do with consistency.
It all falls back on Allen being content with the kind of player he is and not striving or going over the top to get better.
Allen just isn't improving like you'd hope a 24-year-old would. It's definitely good that he isn't getting any worse, but it feels like we all know he can do more.
Worst of all is that he probably feels the same way.
Thompson is making undrafted rookies look good.
If Philadelphia was looking for a rookie who would work his tail off to make the Sixers' regular-season roster, then they got that and more with Hollis Thompson. He didn't just stop at making the roster; he worked his way into the starting lineup.
Not too bad for somebody who went undrafted.
Thompson has done a great job of using his length to penetrate and get easy buckets at the rim and is also a reliable on-ball defender. His 6'8", 206-pound frame is perfect for coach Brett Brown's style of play.
The future is still a question mark, but Thompson has definitely made his name known.
Anderson is beginning to find his shooting stroke again.
It's pretty clear that James Anderson's New Year's resolution was to score the basketball with more consistency. After having eight double-digit games in the month of December, Anderson has already hit five games of 10 points or more in January.
That's pretty good when you consider that the Sixers are only 12 days into the month and have only played seven games. He's also helped on the glass quite a bit during the New Year as he's averaging 5.3 rebounds in those seven games.
Anderson was brought into Philadelphia for his shooting ability. He could certainly improve his 31.5 three-point percentage, but at least he's beginning to bring more to the court than just a smooth shooting stroke.
Wroten has turned into a reliable sixth man without much previous experience.
Tony Wroten opened the season looking like a possible Sixth Man of the Year candidate. A bad back slowed him down for a bit, but he's beginning to regain his form.
His 13.5 points, 3.3 assists and 3.5 points per game aren't too impressive at first glance. What is impressive is that he's contributing at that level while averaging 25.3 minutes per game.
It's important to remember that Wroten was a rookie during the 2012-13 season. He played in 35 games and only averaged 7.8 minutes per game. Going from such a small responsibility to being looked at to score the majority of the second unit's points is a big jump.
It's also one Wroten has handled very well.
You've got to love everything that Hawes has brought to the table.
It's kind of wild that the Sixers haven't won more games with so many of the team's players having the best seasons of their careers. One of those guys is Spencer Hawes.
Hawes is far from the average 7'1" center playing in the NBA. He's averaging 14.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and shooting an amazing 43.4 percent from three-point range. His perimeter shooting numbers are even crazier when you consider that he's second on the team in three-point attempts with 3.9 per game.
Hawes hasn't only been a nice statistical boost. He's also fun to watch because of his energy and rare hustle that few NBA players possess.
It's possible that he's been Philadelphia's biggest surprise as the season has taken place. If it wasn't clear by now, that surprise has definitely been a good one.
Turner could be on his way out.
It took four seasons to make it happen, but Evan Turner has proved that he's far from the bust that his No. 2 draft selection sometimes garnished. It looks as though he thrives off an offense that's run through him as he's averaging a team-high 18.9 points per game. Coach Brett Brown's new style of play has been a solid change of pace for Turner.
It just doesn't look like it's going to last much longer, though. Turner isn't the definition of a fan favorite as his game is slightly more selfish than that of some of the other Sixers. Add that to the early struggles he opened his career with and seeing him get moved isn't the most emotionally damaging thought.
If Turner does get moved, then he certainly went out of Philadelphia on a high note. He's been fun to watch as the year has progressed, and hopefully his success continues regardless of whether he's with the Sixers or somebody else.
Philadelphia is much better with Carter-Williams on the floor.
We all know Michael Carter-Williams is good, but just how valuable is he to the Sixers and their success?
How about this: Philadelphia is 11-15 when he plays and 1-10 when he doesn't.
Carter-Williams has started to slow down defensively, but he still leads the league in steals per game at 2.69. He's also averaging 17.8 points, 7.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds. Those are absolutely disgusting numbers for a rookie taken with the No. 11 pick.
He suddenly looks like he's full of potential and even more growth with an improved jumper. Health will start to turn into the most important aspect of Carter-Williams' career as he moves forward.
For now, he's doing almost everything right when he does find himself playing.
Young has every reason not to be smiling, but he's still got one beaming.
Thaddeus Young is currently having the best year of his career. He's averaging 17.9 points and 6.7 rebounds and is shooting over 40 percent from the three-point line. Some people are even looking at him as a potential All-Star.
Young has been putting up these numbers all while being at the center of heated trade talks.
Imagine going out and scoring 30 points one night, only to go to sleep with the possibility of waking up and hearing that you've been traded across the country. If that's not bad enough, imagine living like that every single night.
The point is that Young has been simply sensational. He's done so while facing adversity and uncertainty, and the Sixers have been lucky to have a guy like him on their team.