Not much has gone right for Nerlens Noel or the Philadelphia 76ers this season. In an effort to shake things up and hopefully produce a win, Brett Brown recently opted to bring Nerlens Noel off the bench. That really hasn’t worked out either, as the Sixers lost that specific contest and another once the sophomore defensive maven rejoined Jahlil Okafor in the frontcourt. Yet, against the Miami Heat, Noel had a bit of a bounceback game, highlighted by this sweet behind-the-back dribble he pulled off on the break.
Noel’s not a tremendous ballhandler, but he has considerable handles for his size. Combine that with his speed and athleticism, and he can execute moves like these every now and then. The problem for Noel this season has mostly to do with fit. The Sixers started the season pairing him with Okafor up front, but that partnership hasn’t exactly worked out. It presents major spacing issues on offense (Noel can’t exactly drive when Okafor and his man are packing the paint), while hurting the Sixers defensively as well, given Okafor’s less-than-stellar defensive acumen.
Yet this is what the Sixers have to work with, and Brown’s tinkering can only do so much. Noel and Okafor are both uniquely talented, but when paired together, they’re a problem for the Sixers.