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Magic’s Steve Clifford on Michael Carter-Williams: “Defensively, there’s nights when he’s spectacular”

Magic, Steve Clifford, Michael Carter-Williams

For Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford, Michael Carter-Williams has the capacity to be an elite defender given his length and defensive acumen.

Per Josh Robbins of Athletic, Steve Clifford spoke about Michael Carter-Williams, whom the team re-signed to a one-year deal. Clifford pointed out the 27-year-old’s defensive abilities, noting that there are some games when he can turn it up a notch.

“Defensively, there’s nights when he’s spectacular,” Clifford said. “He can guard ones, twos and many threes. He can contain the ball and pressure the ball without getting beat and steal the ball, and there’s just not many guys that can do that.”

The Magic initially acquired the 2014 Rookie of the Year in March. Michael Carter-Williams first inked a 10-day contract, which was followed by another 10-day deal. A month later, the Magic decided to keep him for the rest of the year. In 12 games with the team, the Syracuse standout averaged 5.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. His best game was a 15-point night against the Philadelphia 76ers in a 119-98 victory.

The Magic is Carter-Williams’ sixth NBA team in his six-year NBA career. Since leaving the 76ers in 2015, it’s been a struggle for Michael Carter-Williams to get his mojo back. Hopefully, he’ll get his groove back under Steve Clifford and the Magic.