Lost in the wake of all the Eagles free agency news this weekend was the fact that the 76ers went produced a 1-1 record in their last two games (Win over the depleted Atlanta Hawks) and rookie Nerlens Noel who has played extremely well since the All-Star break, simply took his game to another level this past weekend.
Since the All-Star break, Noel has played his best basketball of the season. Since the festivities in New York City wrapped up, #4 is averaging 11.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.9 blocks, and 2.7 steals per game.
Over the weekend, Noel averaged 10.5 ppg., 14 rpg. and 5.5 spg. As a result of his two impressive outings, a host of “historical” references were applied to the stats Noel has been posting during this recent stretch of play and posted online. After the jump, we’ll present a several of those references and let you decide what, if anything, these numbers exactly mean for Noel and the 76ers.
- Over his last 3 games, Nerlens Noel’s has grabbed 15 steals. Over last five games, he’s averaging 3.6 steals per game. He’s grabbed at least four in each of his last three outings, making him one of just two centers this season (along with Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins) to hit that streak.
- In his last 3 games, Noel has grabbed 41 rebounds (13.6 per game). Over his last 5 games, Noel is averaging 12 boards per night. Look back a little further and you find that in his last 10 games, the Sixers’ rookie has been good for 10 rebounds per contest.
- During his last 10 games, Noel is shooting 44% from the field and 64% from the charity stripe. That percentage from the stripe is up significantly from his pre-All-Star break splits of 56.1%.
- On the season, he leads all rookies in rebounds, steals, and blocks, while he is second in scoring behind Andrew Wiggins (15.9 ppg.). In fact, only a rookie named David Robinson (“The Admiral”), put up better rebounding, steal and block numbers in his rookie season.
- Via Sixers.com…In the win over Atlanta, Nerlens Noel became the first rookie since Shaquille O’Neal in 1993 to record 11+ points, 17+ rebounds, and 5+ steals in a game.
- Via at Doug Ammon at nba.com…Over Noel’s last 10 games, he’s averaged 3.1 blocks and 2.1 assists per game, and if he can continue at that pace for the remainder of the season, his averages would rise to 2.3 blocks and 1.8 assists per game. Only one rookie has hit those marks in their rookie season, Tim Duncan in 1997-98.
- Via basketball-reference.com (on March 4th)…Nerlens Noel becomes youngest player to record at least 13 rbs, 5 blocks, 4 steals in a game.
Obvioulsy statistics can be be massaged and/or combined to portray just about any message the compiler want readers to see and the sample size (10 games) is small, so I am not going to get crazy excited about Noel’s recent play. However, I’ll be the first to admit that Noel is producing at a much higher level than I ever expected from him in his rookie season. I still view him as a raw prospect and I am not sure he will ever become a franchise level player, but I tip my cap to him for his recent surge in play and I’m very curious to see how long Noel can remain at this level.
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