Brown happy with progress of Nerlens Noel's shot

Brown happy with progress of Nerlens Noel's shot
January 1, 2014, 9:45 pm
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Nerlens Noel (right) is a little over nine months removed from surgery to repair a torn left ACL. (USA Today Images)

DENVER -- After doing his pregame ritual of shooting drills with Brett Brown followed by a game of one-handed horse, Nerlens Noel headed back to the Sixers' locker room at the Pepsi Center.

I passed him in the hallway and asked, "How did the horse game work out for you today?"

“Is that a real question?” Noel responded, with a grin on his face and a look that said there was only one obvious outcome -- him being the winner.

Brett Brown wins either way because when Noel wins the game it means he is shooting the ball well, which is the whole purpose of the Sixers taking the time to change his shot to one that has correct form and therefore better results.

“Do you know how many shots he has shot one-handed?” Brown asked rhetorically. “And do you know how many times that ball has not come over to his other hand? I am sure behind my back he does some other stuff but in three months now it is thousands and thousands of one-handed shots.

“I feel like I have a good idea of what he has been doing. And I am really happy with it.”

Noel is recovering from left knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. The surgery took place last March. Noel has not been cleared to return to the basketball court for contact and no date for that has been set.