Players Who Will Impact 76ers Wins Next Season

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Mar 16, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward center Nerlens Noel (4) reacts during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Nerlens Noel

If you watched any Sixers ball at all last year, you know Noel had to be included in this discussion. He was arguably the most popular player on the team last year, for good reason. He’s obviously ready to break out as one of the great young NBA players, and one of the key players pushing the 76ers to succeed.

In just one year in the NBA, he’s averaging nearly 10 points per game, while shooting 46.2% from the field. What is odd though, is that he didn’t even attempt a single three pointer, so it’s pretty clear he isn’t too confident in that realm. He’s definitely not a player that stretches the offense all that well, as 79% of his shots last season were within 10 feet of the hoop.

Clearly, range is somewhere that Noel specializes, but we know he’ll be working on that. He does display great qualities in other areas.

In this video, every single one of the 10 top plays Noel had was either a defensive play, or an offensive score off of a lob from another teammate. Every single one. Noel is often credited with being the best defensive player from his class, and I believe that is true by a long shot.

Noel absolutely refuses to be posterized, and the number one play in that compilation above is my favorite from last year as well. James Harden boldly tried to dunk on Noel, but Noel was bold right back, and ready to show what he had to offer defensively. He averaged just under two blocks per game last season. It’s refreshing to see a player like Noel who can offer so much defensively in an offensively minded league.

Noel got a lot of minutes last year, but only attempted about nine shots. I think this is unfortunate, and feel like he has to do more offensively next season. Especially if he is able to do this, he’ll be a reason the Sixers are winning games next year.

Next: Jahlil Okafor