Michael Carter-Williams Settling into Sixers Offense
The Sixers, who have by far the worst offense in the league with a 93.5 offensive rating, squared off against the Minnesota Timberwolves, owners of the worst defense in the league at a 111.9 rating.
Stoppable force meet movable object.
In the first half of the game, the Sixers offense clearly won the matchup, scoring 61 first half points on 62.2% shooting from the field. The 62.2% shooting from the field was the highest the Sixers have managed over the course of a half this season.
Perhaps most impressively, the Sixers had 19 assists on 23 made field goals in the first half. There have been games, 21 of them in fact, this season where the Sixers didn't have more than 19 assists in a game.
The offense was bound to hit a slump after that first half, as they're simply not talented enough to maintain that level of efficiency, even against the Timberwolves porous defense. And they did, as they shot only 27% in the third quarter. Luckily, their defense was up to the task and held Minnesota to only 29% shooting as well, keeping the Sixers in the game and setting up the decisive 4th quarter.
Even with that third quarter slump, the ball movement has been noticeably better of late. Michael Carter-Williams play, specifically, has done a full 180 degree shift.
"I see it in all of our players. There is a poise that slowly is creeping into their game," Brett Brown said after the Sixers 103-94 win over the Wolves. "I see that mostly in Michael, where he understands that other people are going to need the ball, and where he understands when he's going to have to get his.
"I think he's recognizing pick and roll coverages, and understanding where the rotations are coming from," Brown continued. "I just feel like he's playing so much more at peace within himself, and I think the group is doing the same, and collectively it produces some decent performances."
On the season, Michael Carter-Williams has averaged 101.7 touches per game, the most in the league. He has passed the ball, on averaged, 74.7 times per game, or 73.5% of the time he touches the ball.
Of the top 10 point guards in terms of touches per game, only 3 pass the ball less frequently than Michael Carter-Williams: