Nerlens Noel averaged 1.0 block per game in November. He swatted 1.5 shots in December, 2.2 in January, and is notching an impressive 2.8 blocks in February. Just what will the Philadelphia 76ers rookie rim-protector do for March?
As plays like this one indicate, the sky seems the limit from a shot-blocking perspective. Noel combines a 7-4 wingspan with a quick jump and natural defensive instincts. Despite an underwhelming start to his rookie season in terms of blocks, it was always clear a player with such god-given talent would eventually come around with experience. Obviously, the 20 year-old Kentucky product has done just that – he’s tied for second in the NBA in blocks since January 1.
Now imagine scoring in a paint manned by Noel and Joel Embiid. Yeah.
Though the jury’s still out on Philly long-term, it goes without saying that the defensive improvements Brett Brown’s team has made throughout the season will only continue going forward. And while the Sixers have a hosted of gifted young defenders, the presence of Noel is the biggest reason why.
[Vine via Vinnyviner]