Nerlens Noel grew up in near Boston, and even teased Sixers’ fans last season by implying he might return to the hardwood at TD Bank Garden back in April.
Noel never did suit up last season, but he will still make his debut in Boston, albeit it his preseason debut.
The 76ers and Celtics tip off at 7:30 Monday and both teams will be looking to find their identity this preseason, and during the regular season as well.
The 76ers of course, are fresh off one of the worst seasons in history including a record setting losing streak. Noel is excited to start his journey with the 76ers where is journey in life began.
“The fact it is in Boston, to have family and friends will definitely mean a lot to me,” Noel said last week.
Head coach Brett Brown knows Noel is still a bit rusty from taking all of last season off, but will still try and give 76ers fans, and his coaching staff a good look Monday.
“We won’t take it easy and will play him until he gets tired, and sit him and do it again,” Brown said.
A familiar face will be waiting in Boston in former Sixers’ swingman Evan Turner. The one-time No. 2 overall pick with Philadelphia, Turner recently signed a deal to become a Celtic after being traded to the Pacers mid-season in 2014 during a Sixers fire sale at the trade deadline.