WASHINGTON - Nerlens Noel said that when he called Ish Smith the first "true point guard I ever played with," it was not a knock on Michael Carter-Williams.
"Nah, I'd never do that," the 76ers rookie said Wednesday about his former point guard. "He's a playmaker. There are times when you need a scoring point guard that's going to get in the lane, create and make scoring opportunities.
"That's just the way the NBA is when you are that big [6-foot-6]. It's good that you utilize your length and your ability to get to the basket. I would never take a shot at him."
Noel made the comments about Smith on Monday after an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
There's no denying that Noel's numbers have improved since the Sixers acquired Smith off waivers on Feb. 22. That was three days after Carter-Williams was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The game Wednesday against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center marked Smith's 21st with the Sixers. In the previous 17 games, Noel averaged 14.3 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.4 steals, and 2.1 blocks.
For the season, the 6-11 center was averaging 10 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.9 blocks.
"Everybody is different," Noel said. "I think point guards in this league nowadays bring so much to the table where you are a playmaker or pass-first. I think Ish is a pass-first, different type of point guard."
Noel and Carter-Williams were teenage AAU teammates in the Boston area.
White House visit
Coach Brett Brown called the team's 90-minute tour of the White House on Tuesday a fantastic experience.
"I was proud of our guys," he said. "You see that young group walk in pristine and sharp suits. Nobody is looking at their phones."
Noel is known for his trademark high-top fade. But the Sixers played an April Fools' Day joke on their fans via social media. The team posted a fake picture of Noel leaving the team hotel at 4 p.m. with twists in his hair.