“I was so happy everyone came out and so shocked to be even playing there. After the game I told my parents and family that I saw the time going down (so quickly) and didn’t even realize it. I was so shocked that I was playing there,” said Carter-Williams, who felt a little more relaxed against the Celtics last night.
“It definitely was tough. Like I said, it was a big blur to me when I was out there. I grew up watching the Celtics ... and now I’m playing there.”
Carter-Williams is far from a finished product and his team in the midst of a major rebuilding phase. Trade deadline deals that sent veterans Turner and Lavoy Allen to Indiana, and Spencer Hawes to Cleveland, thrust Carter-Williams into a leadership role and the Sixers are only beginning to see his potential in that department.
Times have been tough in Philly, but the organization is keeping an eye on brighter days and Carter-Williams is a focal point of that future.
For what it’s worth, Carter-Williams is currently the face of the organization, and help — albeit young and inexperienced help — is on the way. Fellow rookie and Massachusetts native Nerlens Noel, who has sat out the entire season with a knee injury, should be back at full strength by next year. In addition, the Sixers own two lottery picks (their own and New Orleans’) in the June draft, which is expected to be talented and deep.
“It was tough, especially seeing Evan go. I was closest to him and seeing Spence and Lavoy go was also tough. It is what it is. You have to move on quickly and just focus on the task at hand,” Carter-Williams said.
“We’re just trying to finish strong. Once it’s over, we’ll focus on next year and getting better in the offseason. Whoever we end up picking (in the draft), we’ll focus on getting in the gym as soon as we can and get team chemistry.”