Today is Day 2 of Training Camp 2014 for Philadunkia’s home team and while we realize that the team’s fate for this season (“Year of the Double Tank”) is already sealed, we still feel there are number of topics that deserved to be examined as the team continues to punch the clock over at Stockton College.
Today we present the fourth installment in our new series here at Philadunkia that will ask and analyze key questions Sam Hinkie, Brett Brown and the Sixers will be facing during Training Camp 2014. Each day a question will be posed to three Philadunkia scribes — Jeff McMenamin, Michael Kaskey-Blomain and C. Smith — and their insightful answers (hopefully) will be posted for you the reader to view and comment on.
Today’s training camp question is…“Given his comments at media day that there is “no timetable for his return”, do you think Michael Carter-Williams will play at all in training camp or will the 76ers brass sit him until the regular season?”
Jeff McMenamin: Carter-Williams said Monday that he’ll be out indefinitely until his doctor gives him the go-ahead to start practicing again, which means he’ll be sitting all of training camp. He’ll likely sit until the start of the regular season, as Tony Wroten takes over the reigns at point guard for the time being.
It will be interesting to see how the Sixers use Carter-Williams once he is available to practice. The team cannot afford to re-injure the reigning 2014 Rookie of the Year early on in the season and for how patient the team has been with both Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid in their recoveries from injury, I see much of the same coming for Carter-Williams.
I’d use him very sparingly if I were coach Brett Brown and pull him at any sign of fatigue. I think he’ll be given the green light to take himself out of practice or games if he feels the need to at any point.
C. Smith: WOW, excellent question as there could be some controversy along these lines. I would hope that he would see some action at training camp, but I don’t think it is likely. In fact I don’t believe we will see MCW in the starting lineup on opening night. We have seen how conservative the 76ers front office was with MCW’s knee contusion last season, Noel’s injury and the approach/timetable they are taking with Embiid, so I would imagine they are going to keep MCW out of the lineup until he is fully healed and then some. Additionally Wroten’s comments and tone at media day regarding the fact that he will be playing point guard until MCW returns, made it feel like he isn’t expecting MCW back anytime soon.
Unfortunately keeping him out of the lineup for an extended period of time is the smart move for MCW’s long term health and will benefit the “double tank” effort as well.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: I don’t think the reigning Rookie of the Year will play in camp at all. The team has been very non-committal about Carter-Williams’ return date, with Brett Brown last saying that he likely would not be ready for the start of the preseason.
While this is not a huge deal, it is a little alarming, as the surgery, which was down-played, took place many months ago, and you would like to think that Carter-Williams would be back to full strength by now. His training and preparation was limited throughout the summer as he was not allowed to participate in full-contact games. He did say at media day that he has been shooting for about three months, which is a solid sign.
The Sixers have demonstrated extreme patience with their young players who have injury issues, evidenced by Nerlens Noel sitting the entirety of last season despite his desire to play toward the end. You have to assume that the same patience and caution will be used for Carter-Williams, and while it would be great for him and the team for him to be out on court at camp with the rest of his teammates, I doubt that he will be a participant.
With Carter-Williams’ role on the team already established, Brett Brown and his staff will likely use camp as a big battle for players trying to secure spots.
C. Smith is the Editor of Philadunkia. You can follow us @philadunkia.
Jeff McMenamin is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @Sixersblog.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.