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Nerlens Noel looks to improve, win awards

The only Sixers action that Nerlens Noel has seen for the organization so far has been in five Summer League games this past July.

Nerlens Noel was impressive in the Orlando Summer League, particularly on the defensive end. Credit: Getty Images Nerlens Noel was impressive in the Orlando Summer League, particularly on the defensive end. Credit: Getty Images

The only Sixers action that Nerlens Noel has seen for the organization so far has been in five Summer League games this past July. In those five games, Noel averaged 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.6 blocks in 26 minutes per game.

With extra time to develop in the offseason, Noel is excited to get his rookie season underway and prove to the league how good of a player he is.

“It’s been 20 months now since I’ve been able to be a part of a meaningful game and I’m really excited,” said Noel. “I’ve put a lot of work into bettering my game in every aspect and I’m just coming into the season with a great mentality. I’m not going to lay any exact numbers out, but I think I’m going to be able to put up decent numbers across the board.”

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Noel sat out all of last season as he recovered from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. A similar situation happened with Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who broke his left knee cap in 2010. The injury required him to sit out the length of his expected rookie year, only to return in the 2010-11 season to win Rookie of the Year. Noel is not only looking to do the same, but is aiming for another award as well.

“I’d definitely say [winning Rookie of the Year] is one of my personal goals,” said Noel. “I do set high expectations for myself and I’d like to win Defensive Player of the Year as well. I do feel like these are possibilities for myself and I think coach Brown will put me in a good position where I can play my game at a high level.”

 
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