If there can be a “shock the world” moment in day two of an NBA season, it happened in Philadelphia last night. The Philadelphia 76ers raced out to a 19-0 lead against the defending champion Miami Heat, then proceeded to give up 80 points in the second and third quarter to trail by nine at the end of three. But somehow in the fourth quarter, they stifled the champs again and came back for a shocking 114-110 win.
And while Evan Turner scored an efficient 26 points and Spencer Hawes added 24, the spotlight was stolen by rookie Michael Carter-Williams.
In his debut, MCW put up a stat line that you truthfully never really see: 22 points, seven rebounds, 12 assists and nine steals. In fact, according to ESPN Stats and Info, this stat line has only been achieved two other times in NBA history. Also, his nine steals were the most in a debut in NBA history, and his 12 assists were second all-time.
The thing that amazed me the most about Carter-Williams was his ability to wreak havoc in the lane on both ends of the floor and the efficiency with which he scored the basketball (22 points on only 10 field goal attempts).
The crowd at the Wells Fargo Center was a little bigger than it will normally be this year because they were playing the Heat, it was opening night and because Allen Iverson was in the house after formally announcing his retirement. For the people in attendance, they got to see a real show. And even though the record probably won’t reflect it by season’s end, the Sixers should be fun to watch.
They are a bunch of young kids out there just playing basketball with nothing to lose because no one expects them to win. Their offense now involves shooting 3-pointers and eliminating Doug Collins’ favorite shot in basketball: the long two. They also got to the free throw line 24 times compared to only 13 for the Heat and had 16 steals to the Heat’s seven. This is something that never would have happened last year.
It’s only one game into the season, and no one should expect 82 games quite like this. However, we got a glimpse of what the future could be with MCW, and it sure looked like a lot of fun.