Video: Joel Embiid Defends Nerlens Noel During Sixers Practice

The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t nearly as bad as casual NBA fans believe they are. Brett Brown’s team is not only 6-10 in its past 16 games and boasts an ever-improving, above-average defense, but also gives consistent effort on a nightly basis and consists of several unknown and previously unheralded gems like Robert Covington, K.J. McDaniels, and Jerami Grant. Make no mistake, though – it’s still about the future in Philly first and foremost. And to that end, Sixers fans will surely be thrilled to watch injured high lottery pick Joel Embiid ably defend Nerlens Noel during a recent practice.

.@joelembiid helps @nerlensnoel3 work on his post moves after Thursday's practice in #Boston

A video posted by Keith Pompey (@pompeyonsixers) on Feb 5, 2015 at 1:31pm PST


That doesn’t exactly look like a guy who’s anywhere near 300 pounds. And if Embiid actually does weigh close to that ballooned amount, wow – talk about footwork!

The third overall pick of June’s draft won’t play this season despite the seemingly uninhibited movement shown here. Embiid had a back injury that kept him from finishing his lone collegiate season at Kansas then broke his foot in weeks leading up to draft night. Like they did with Noel last season, the Sixers have chosen to take the extra cautious approach to Embiid’s recovery – and that makes even more sense considering the team’s long-term rebuilding strategy, too.

Either way, it’s certainly encouraging to see Embiid move like a basketball player again. We can’t wait to watch he and his young teammates suit up for a wildly improved Philly come 2015-2016.

What do you think?

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