|(Christopher A. Vito)|
76ers rookie Nerlens Noel is “100
percent,” he said, and while he’d be in favor of appearing in any of the team’s
remaining five games, he understands the risk-reward proposition the team is
facing with his health status.
Noel has devoted his season to
development of his game at every level, as he has been unable to play while
rehabbing from a March 2013 surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee. Sixers
coach Brett Brown said Noel, who spoke to reporters following Tuesday’s
practice, has participated in “a little” 5-on-5 scrimmaging with the team, as
well as running plays in half-court sets.
Nonetheless, it’s not game
“There’s nothing like
experiencing (games) first-hand,” Noel said.
While unavailable to play,
Noel has been in the weight room, improving his bench-press limitations. He
said he’s increased his vertical leap “by over three inches.” And Brown said
Noel has put on “eight to 10 pounds.” Those are all pluses for the 19-year-old
“Obviously, I do want to play.
The 19-year-old in me that’s been sitting down on the sideline really wanted to
get out there and show my abilities and be able to play ball,” Noel said. It’s
been tough, but something I had to do. I’m definitely looking forward to
As for playing at some point
this season, Noel said that has not been ruled out. His summer plans are not
set in stone, either, he said, but he anticipates participating in the Sixers’
If Noel has to miss the Sixers’
final five games, the next of which is Wednesday at Toronto, the 6-11 center
said that would be understandable.
“Sam Hinkie is a great GM,”
Noel said. “He put me in this position to play for this great city of
Philadelphia. I definitely understand where he stands with the risk and the
reward. That’s why I’ve been very eager through my competitiveness and wanting
to play basketball again. I do understand.”
More to come on Noel…
Labels: Brett Brown, Nerlens Noel, Sam Hinkie