Despite some recent mishaps, the Philadelphia 76ers have continued their strong play to start the 2023-24 season with an 11-5 win-loss card ahead of Mondays’ night contest against the Los Angeles Lakers. And while the team is far from struggling, more help could soon be coming their way.
At yesterday’s practice, head coach Nick Nurse offered an encouraging update on Kelly Oubre Jr., who has just rejoined the team. The 76ers are naturally being careful with bringing him along in his return to team activities as the soon-to-be 28-year-old got some run with no-contact, five-on-zero drills. Still, his very presence is a welcome development from what initially seemed to be a grim prognosis when news of his unfortunate incident made headlines.
"Kelly was with the team today. We did do a few drills. Not a lot. He continues to progress a little bit, but he was out there."
The 76ers should be getting Kelly Oubre Jr. back soon
One of the early feel-good stories in the league, Oubre started off his 76ers tenure in brilliant fashion, norming 16.3 points per outing on 50 percent shooting from the floor, including 37.8 percent from downtown across eight games wherein he drew five starts.
Nicolas Batum’s steady play has been a nice cover-up for Oubre in the starting unit, but the 76ers have clearly missed his scoring presence. It remains to be seen whether he will reprise his role as a starter when he returns from injury, but even if the Frenchman continues to occupy his previous spot, he should be a potent boost to Philadelphia’s bench, which is currently dead last in the league in scoring at just 21.6 per contest.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the 76ers have gone just 4-4 without the ninth year wingman. While the team will not particularly have a difficult schedule in the next couple of weeks, they have been inconsistent as of late, and Oubre will certainly inject some more scoring punch and more importantly, defensive activity to a team that has registered a measly defensive rating of 120.7 without him (and his improved play on that end) in the lineup.
For context, that is the fifth-worst mark in the association since November 12, when the 76ers played their first game without him.
Hopefully, Kelly Oubre Jr. has a seamless reconditioning from injury ahead of his eventual return to the Philadelphia 76ers, which have been up-and-down in their performance lately.