We've heard about Nerlens Noel working on his shot with Brett Brown at practice and we've read the mysterious 4-4-14 tweet, but today we got some actual reporting on the Sixers rookie participating in a four-on-four practice. All signs point to impressive.
Dei Lynam has the full story which includes a report on Noel's game from veteran Thad Young who spoke very highly.
We'll cherry pick two quotes. First, from Coach Brown:
“We got a competitor," Brown said. “We can say he is 19 years old and he weighs this and he has to work on that, but how he ticks and sees things from a competitive side is beyond impressive.
"Beyond impressive," sounds great to me.
And an interesting nugget from Thad:
"He is one of the quickest guys I have seen off his feet," Young said. "One time we were going at each other and he altered my shot and I got the rebound and he was already off his feet again. He can probably jump three or four times before somebody jumps twice."
I'm not even sure how that works. But I'd like to see it.
During a time when it's near impossible to get excited about the Sixers, Nerlens Noel brings a glimmer of hope.
>>Nerlens Noel turns heads in Sixers practice [CSN]
Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.
"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."
Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.
The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.
Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.
A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).
It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.
Cesar Hernandez gets the night off. He's been dealing with a groin pull for 10 days, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday.
Andres Blanco bats second and plays second.
Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.
Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.
1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P