In his unofficial pro debut, Nerlens Noel started off his professional career on the right note with a solid game against the Orlando Magic in the Orlando Summer League. Despite the Sixers loss, Noel still gave Sixers’ fans watching a reason to believe that he was the worth wait considering he did not play last year. Right out of the gate on the Sixers’ first possession after winning the tip, Noel faked out Dewayne Dedmon in the post, finishing with the one-handed slam.
Sixers’ fans were eager to see if Noel would favor his right knee while also looking at how Noel’s offensive game was developing. Besides the opening dunk, Noel also had a circus finish while he was being fouled to obtain the three-point play. He was active on the defensive end which is his strong suit, as he grabbed four steals while blocking a shot. Adding to his sharp defensive play was his shooting, both from the field and the free throw line. Noel scored 19 points while shooting 6 of 11 (55%) from the field, connecting on 100% of his free throws, going 7 of 7 from the charity strip.
Although most of Noel’s game showed positive signs, he did only snag two rebounds and also committed five personal fouls, adding four turnovers to his line as well. All in all, Nerlens Noel had an excellent debut despite some skewed statistics. He moved well in the post and showed no signs of his knee injury affecting his play. It will be interesting to see how Noel fares in the Sixers next summer league game tomorrow against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he will be battling the physical Steven Adams down low.
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