Michael Carter-Williams has been the Philadelphia 76ers best player; still, the Sixers are compensating well without him.
Carter-Williams sat out Wednesday night’s win against the Houston Rockets. Guards James Anderson and Tony Wroten stepped it up. Both players can fill in for the team’s leading passer, backcourt defender and second-leading scorer. Anderson led the Sixers with 36 points, five rebounds and three steals. Wroten got a triple-double, scoring 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Wroten’s stats against the Rockets alone are similar to what Carter-Williams has put up.
The big question is, how long this can last considering that the Sixers haven’t played 10 games yet, and they’ve been dealing with injuries along with being encouraged to fail just to get next summer’s top draft pick?
As long as Wroten and Anderson are still healthy, they can play just as well as anyone on the team in coach Brett Brown’s system that allows his players to play freely on offense while playing zone defense. The Sixers lack a true star, but that’s not a major factor as either player can fill in for Carter-Williams nicely.
Without Wroten and Anderson, the Sixers will have to rely heavily on leading scorer Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young, who each already average over 32 minutes per game. They’ll eventually see somewhere closer to 40 minutes, a range where their chances of injury are extremely high, especially if they’re making a playoff run.
The Sixers will still need Carter-Williams to play more than half of the games this season if they are to see the playoffs, otherwise Turner, Hawes and Young have a higher chance of suffering career-threatening injuries.