Michael Carter-Williams definitely earned his starting position as point guard, but while the rookie was missing, Tony Wroten exemplified his abilities as well.
When the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Brooklyn Nets in overtime on Friday night, Wroten showed off his capabilities as a starter. Wroten scored 19 points on 8 of 17 from the field in just 24 minutes.
When MCW is healthy he is averaging 33.6 minutes per game. In order for Wroten to receive nearly as many minutes, he has to learn to play from the shooting guard position. Brett Brown has had that conversation not just with Wroten but MCW as well, because both of them will have to learn to play shooting guard over time.
With both players standing at 6-6, they can create steals and disrupt some opponents defensively. On top of their quickness and defensive perks, they also don’t hesitate to pull the trigger as shooters. It seems to be a must to find positions for both of them on the court, but Brown needs proof that they can coexist.
“It’s always a challenge on how [Carter-Williams and Wroten] can coexist. I put it on them. [Wroten] did a good job of coexisting with [Carter-Williams]. You know people are going to challenge him to shoot, he showed a fearless side. He stepped up and made some…How can you not love how hard that young kid plays?”
With that in mind, the two could have even more offensive benefits with Wroten being left-handed and MCW being right-handed. The two could have a unique pick-and-roll style that would allow space, forcing defenses to challenge their shooting abilities which in turn creates room in the paint.
“Because we are pretty open with regard to how we play, and we are running a lot, it is not as obvious as it is when you have to run an underneath out of bounds play with late clock and Tony, at 20 years old, has to remember the whole package as a point guard, and now he is playing the two. I think that is a challenge for him, but those two can co-exist… They are going to get their opportunities but it’s going to be ‘show me.’ They think that they can deliver,” said Brown.
Starting point-guard MCW is also optimistic about the duo’s potential as co-starters.
“We played very well together. It is going to take a little time. We are both willing, and we both want to be out there together and feed off each other. I think we can be a good combination,” said Carter-Williams.
So does Brown throw Wroten into the starting lineup as a shooting guard or try to make him valuable off the bench?
All coaches love value from the bench, but Brown has the ability create that, especially with a young team. They should be pushing the young players into starting positions. It could only be helpful later down the road, because for the moment, who cares about losses?
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