It was a pretty eventful week for the 76ers to open the 2013-14 season. Just when most basketball pundits picked the Sixers to finish the season with the worst record in the league, they pulled off three straight stunning upsets, each one more impressive than the last.
The Sixers overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Miami Heat, rallied back from down 20 to beat the Washington Wizards and then beat the Bulls the next night after trailing by 22.
The second week of the season promises to be just as eventful -- maybe more. On Monday night, the high-scoring Golden State Warriors come to town to kick off a stretch of four games in six nights.
Can the Sixers keep up the winning ways? We’ll find out. In the meantime, here are a few storylines that we’re looking forward to this week.
MCW takes on more big-time point guards
Michael Carter-Williams opened his career by making a little history. With 62 points, 27 assists and 13 steals, the rookie became the third player in league history to notch two double-doubles in his first three games. He became the first Sixer ever to score 60-plus points, dish out 20-plus assists and get 10-plus steals in the first three games of a season.
Impressively, Carter-Williams put up those numbers against some big-time point guards, including John Wall and Derrick Rose on back-to-back nights.
So who does MCW have lined up this week?
The Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Wall (again) and the Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving -- on a back-to-back -- are all waiting to take a shot at the unflappable rookie this week.
Here come the Warriors
With their up-tempo offense, the Sixers lead the NBA in field goals made, steals and two-point field-goal percentage (see story). The Warriors are second behind the Sixers in field goals, first in three-pointers made and three-point field-goal percentage.
In other words, expect some points to go up on the scoreboard.
But also expect some defense. With ex-Sixer Andre Iguodala and big man Andrew Bogut, the Warriors might have an antidote for Carter-Williams, as well as a presence in the paint.
In the backcourt, the Warriors are getting 48.3 points per game from Curry and Klay Thompson, and 20.3 points per game from forward David Lee.
For good measure they have former Sixer Marreese Speights coming off the bench.
Bynum and the Cavaliers
The fans in Cleveland have seen glimpses of what the fans in Philly never got to see … that’s Andrew Bynum on the basketball court.
Bynum appeared in two games for the Cavs last week, logging 18 minutes for eight points, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. No, it isn’t much, but it’s more than the Sixers got.
So far Bynum has played only one end of back-to-backs. With the Sixers and Cavs scheduled to play on Friday in Philadelphia and Saturday in Cleveland, there’s a chance Bynum skips the game at the Wells Fargo Center.
But if he plays in Philly on Friday night, that could be something to see.