Royce White 'hit or miss' so far for Sixers


Royce White 'hit or miss' so far for Sixers

The Sixers were overmatched Monday night to say the least, losing to the Brooklyn Nets, 127-97 (see story). Unfortunately for the team, there may be too many nights like Monday this season in which the Sixers' talent just doesn’t come close to that of the opposition.

But head coach Brett Brown will persevere and constantly look for silver linings, and the play of Royce White on Monday qualified as such.

In his second preseason game, White played 19 minutes, scoring six points and dishing out three assists. In fact, White made an eye-catching pass that caused a stir on Twitter.

The 6-foot-8 forward likes to put the ball on the floor, and good things can happen when he does. But watching White create plays is unsettling for his coach because the rookie likes to freelance.

“He scares the hell out of me,” Brown said. “That’s what [happened] in college -- dribble the ball up the court and reverse the ball to Royce and then say what’s going to happen now? Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad because he is a runaway train. But that’s OK right now.”

White committed three turnovers and had four personal fouls.

White also showed that same up-and-down game during his Sixers debut in the team's preseason win over the Celtics on the campus of the University of Delaware.

In less than three minutes, White picked up four fouls.

However, in a little more than eight minutes, White also had a dunk, a layup, a foul shot, three rebounds, a steal and a pair of turnovers (see story).

“When he starts making good decisions, he is dangerous in trail,” Brown said. “Right now, it is hit or miss. We just have to bite our lip a little bit. He has a lot of game. When you start watching him play -- his passing and feel for the game and the fluid way that he plays -- you can see why people were attracted to him.”

That attraction resulted in White being selected 16th overall in the 2012 draft by Houston after just one season at Iowa State.

Nerlens Noel undergoes surgery on sore left knee

Nerlens Noel undergoes surgery on sore left knee

Nerlens Noel has had surgery on his sore left knee, and the Sixers have not disclosed a timetable for the disgruntled center's return.

Noel has been out since the team's first preseason game. He initially had a left groin strain before experiencing soreness in the knee during rehab, and it was discovered he had an inflamed plica. 

The team is calling the surgery a "minor elective arthroscopic procedure." It was performed in New York by Dr. Riley J. Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Noel eventually will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to rehab with associate clinical director Kevin Wilk at Champion Sports Medicine.

The Sixers expect to have a timetable for his return once Noel returns to Philadelphia. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Noel is expected to miss three to five weeks. 

This has been a rough preseason for Noel, who hasn't hidden his displeasure with his role on the Sixers' jammed frontcourt. The team has until Oct. 31 to extend his rookie contract but, per a report in the Inquirer earlier this month, the two sides have yet to discuss it. 

Sixers still deciding who will start opener, how long Jahlil Okafor will play

Sixers still deciding who will start opener, how long Jahlil Okafor will play

CAMDEN, N.J. — Brett Brown doesn’t have many options at his disposal for opening night against the Thunder, but a day before the Sixers' regular-season tip-off, he still is considering how to utilize his shorthanded roster.

What Brown is sure of is Joel Embiid will be capped at 20 minutes in five four-minute segments. Embiid, coming off two years of foot injuries, began the preseason playing 12.

The Sixers have not locked in a minutes restriction on Jahlil Okafor. The second-year big man aggravated his right knee during training camp and played eight minutes in his first preseason game last Friday.

“You’ll intermittently sub that and Richaun Holmes will make up the rest,” Brown said after practice Tuesday. “The five-spot is locked in with those three, and I feel like tomorrow we’ll be able to better figure out how many four-minute sections does Jahlil actually get.”

Brown started Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Embiid in the final two preseason games. On Tuesday he did not announce a starting five, specifically a point guard. That role is between Rodriguez and T.J. McConnell because of the injury to Jerryd Bayless (wrist). 

“Still considering a lot,” Brown said of the one-spot. “Not prepared right now to say one thing or another.”

Rodriguez, who has been practicing with the white squad, anticipates he will be given the nod. It will be his first regular-season game in the NBA since 2010.

“Yes, I expect, but for me that doesn’t matter,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to be a big game for everybody. Everybody needs to be ready. We will need all we have to beat them.”

The Sixers' inactive list includes Bayless, Ben Simmons (foot) and Nerlens Noel (knee), all of whom could be starters if healthy. With so many injuries to major contributors and the implementation of segmented minutes, Brown will have to look down his bench over the course of four quarters.

“We’re going to have to go 10-deep. I bet we could even go 11-deep,” he said. “We’re in a very unusual circumstance that players can’t play multiple minutes. ... That, coupled with I think you can’t expect to have the energy and effort that we want on the floor without giving people six-minute chunks.” 

The Sixers and Thunder face off at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.