Today is 4-4-14.
Today is also not the day where Nerlens Noel will make his long awaited NBA debut.
#Sixers' Nerlens Noel will not be in uniform tonight, Brett Brown said— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) April 4, 2014
#Sixers coach Brett Brown on Nerlens Noel: "His future -- and his hair -- are quite incredible."— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) April 4, 2014
(And is Brett Brown awesome or what?)
Well, that's a bummer. Ever since the Sixers' rookie big man tweeted out the following a few weeks back...
4-4-14— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) March 9, 2014
...many thought he might be making his return to the court against his 'hometown' Boston Celtics. But that isn't the case. It doesn't seem like the Sixers feel there's any point in playing Nerlens this late in the season. That's disappointing, but entirely understandable. Keep in mind that his return hasn't been officially ruled out yet. I just don't think the chances look very good with only six (!!!) games left after tonight.
Noel was said to be around "80%" last week. He's slowly but steadily seen his workout regiment increase through the season. It started out with just taking one handed free throws during practice in competition against Brett Brown, which is something those two still do. Now the intensity has ramped up to include other activities such as playing one on one against fellow shot blocker Jarvis Varnado.
I think it's a fun exercise to compare and contrast the Noel injury situation the Bynum injury situation last year. They obviously aren't exactly comparable given the different nature of their injuries. But with Bynum, we kept on irrationally waiting for something that was never going to come. That became more and more depressing as the season went on. There was pressure for him to play due to his expiring contract and the the haul the Sixers gave up for him. The Sixers predictably let Bynum leave in the offseason. Obviously the right move, but just a very disappointing scenario.
That's not the case with Nerlens Noel. The Sixers gave up a bit of a haul for him (Jrue Holiday) but there's no pressure for him to play. I can't wait to watch him in action, whenever that is, because I know it's only a matter of "when" and not "if" like it was with Bynum. Man, I just can't wait.
As for the actual game preview... the Sixers take on the Celtics tonight. Both teams are really bad. The Sixers are worse. That's about all you need to know, right? Oh, and it's a homecoming for Michael Carter-Williams. According to Chris Vito, 150+ members of MCW's friends and family will be in attendance. Cool stuff. Hopefully the rookie PG goes for a big game.
Do you think about me now and then?
I put my 0-6 LB game coverage record on the line. Here's to 0-7. And loss number 60 for the Sixers.
Tip is at 7:30 PM EST. The Sixers are in Boston. GameThread will be up at 7:00 - don't forget to join us. You can catch the game on CSN Philly. You can listen live on the radio: 97.5 The Fanatic.