Ah, two days away from this…
— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) March 9, 2014
The reports keep coming out about Noel and how great he looks in practice. Brett Brown is talking about him, the beat writers are taking videos — everyone is high with anticipation to watch the Sixers rookie take the court. But will he is the question?
Check out what Brett Brown had to say about Nerlens Noel (via Philly.com):
“I’m sorry to say the same, old answer and he’s just moving forward and I can’t even really give you a rate,” coach Brett Brown said. “You see what I see. Whether he is going to play or not is still up in the air. But I think just to watch him, how can you not get excited about what we’re all seeing?
“The first thing that I’ve fallen in love with is that he is beyond competitive. There is a dog in him, there is a toughness in him that I misjudged, because you look at him and he’s got those big eyes at 19 years old and there’s a naiveté that no doubt exists within him, as it should. So you’re talking to him and he doesn’t talk a lot, he listens a lot, he’s a fantastic listener. As you go through all those months shooting one-handed with him and then all of the sudden you see him come out here, he’s a tremendous competitor. For me, it’s the No. 1 quality that makes somebody special. Then you get into the athleticism where he’s got that bounce and he can jump twice. People that can miss a blocked shot, hit the floor and go back up are special. And he can do it both with his right hand and his left hand. I think the growth of his actual foul shot will carry over to his real shot, [which] has been excellent this year. I’m proud of the time that we’ve spent with him. I see a far more mature type of player having gone through all the film sessions and the weight room sessions and on a team bus. He’s been with the team, he just hasn’t played. This year has been invaluable to him.”
Regardless if Nerlens Noel steps on the court or not this year, it’s obvious that he has improved this season. Brett Brown has been working with him to retool his jump-shot and it appears that the work is helping. Of course, Sixers fans just want to see him on a court. April 4th is two days away, will he play? I’m leaning towards no, but I don’t think its preposterous to rule out an appearance before the season is over.
All in all, the hype around Nerlens Noel is certainly building. Sixers fan’s would love to get just one glimpse of the flattop in play, just to appease their craving appetites to see some sort of progress for the future.
“He’ll do what everybody does. He’ll play too fast, he’ll try to rush things, he won’t let the game come to him, he’ll try to impose himself on the game,” Brown said. “He’s going to be very erratic, he’ll be turnover-prone and foul-prone. He’ll be all those things that we expect. And apart from that he hasn’t played in so long he has such a fantastic instinct and athleticism. Everything is going to be amped up for that reason, also. But that’s to be expected. I just think for him to be doing what he’s doing now in itself is exciting. The city should be excited.”