Tag Archives: Nerlens Noel

Too Quick To Forget: 10 Facts About Nerlens Noel

noel dre

On July 2nd it was announced that Nerlens Noel was signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder for 2 years at the veteran minimum. That’s right, the guy that refused to sign a 4 year/$70 million deal with the Mavericks signed for vet min with the Thunder. With Paul George, Jerami Grant, and Ray Felton all re-signing, signing Deonte Burton, drafting and signing Hamidou Diallo, and of course the trade that saw Carmelo Anthony shipped elsewhere in return for Dennis Schröder and Timothé Luwawu Cabarrot… people tend to forget about Nerlens. Well that’s because not many people know a lot about him.

Well as Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton said in the Hip Hop Musical “Hamilton”:

“(ENTER: ME)”

As not only a Thunder fan, but a MASSIVE Kentucky Wildcats fan (#BBN), I am here to shed as much light on the player, and personality that Nerlens Noel is.

Sit back, grab yourself a snack (maybe even a hotdog), and enjoy. Continue reading Too Quick To Forget: 10 Facts About Nerlens Noel

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Thunder At A Glance – 23 August 2018

img_4063Charlotte Edmonds (The Observer) with a piece on Russell Westbrook that will have many of us nodding our heads in agreement: “I’m not trying to suggest that Westbrook is a great player by virtue of his commitment to one team. By that logic, Udonis Haslem would’ve been inducted to the Hall of Fame by now. Rather, I’m arguing that players like Westbrook represent one of the things that are still great about sports — standing by a community instead of trading in a “sacred legacy for cheap jewelry,” in the words of Reggie Miller.”

Micah Adams and Scott Rafferty (NBA.com) look at Kobe Bryant’s top 40 rivals as he turns 40 years of age: “Some of the biggest names in today’s NBA see shades of Kobe when they watch Westbrook. Even Kobe sees it. According to Lakers Nation, Kobe said Westbrook is the player who reminds him the most of himself. “When I turn on the TV and I watch players play, the player that plays with the same kind of emotion and grit and competitive intensity is Russell.” Continue reading Thunder At A Glance – 23 August 2018

NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 16 July 2018

img_4063Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on Thunder summer league (and Blue) coach Mark Daigneault: “He learned basketball from Jim Calhoun, for whom he worked as a student manager at UConn, and Ralph Willard, who hired him as an assistant at Holy Cross, and from Billy Donovan, who brought him on at Florida as a graduate assistant and ultimately followed him to Oklahoma City.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) looks at the rotational players for the Thunder during summer league: “Diallo shouldn’t have lasted until the No. 45 pick in the draft. In Las Vegas, the 19-year-old showcased elite athleticism, was efficient (20-of-41 shooting), rebounded well (4.8 per game) for 6-5, and showed the ability to handle the ball on the fast break. Could he make a Thunder roster that wants to play faster? The Thunder minimized Diallo’s responsibility on offense in Las Vegas and he needs to continue to improve his perimeter shot, but purchasing his draft rights from Charlotte was a nice, low-risk play by Sam Presti.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 16 July 2018

NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 10 July 2018

img_4063Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) on Nerlens Noel’s upcoming season of redemption: “This is something I’ve been really wanting my whole life, just to be on a talented team that can really complement my skill set and really show what I’m really about and go out on the court and play my game with no hesitation. Coach Billy has given me the utmost confidence since I’ve been talking to him day by day. Just go out there and play your game. There’s nothing in it besides basketball and just being yourself. I felt really accepted.”

Gallo (OKCThunder.com) on Hamidou Diallo’s potential in Las Vegas: “Offensively, Diallo broke through with an impressive performance that included 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 8 rebounds. He made a pair of made three-pointers with solid shooting form, hit a long two-point jumper and likely the play of the game, a vicious baseline drive that culminated in a two-handed flush. Diallo isn’t heralded as a scorer coming out of college, but as a 19-year old he obviously still has plenty of room to grow.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 10 July 2018

NTTB Podcast – Episode 36 (Happy PG Day)

IMG_4109On Episode 36 of the NTTB podcast, we discuss the following topics:

 

  • Nerlens Noel signing
  • Raymond Felton re-signs
  • Carmelo Anthony and Thunder definitely heading towards a split
  • Options for Melo’s departure
  • Reviewing Paul George’s decision to stay
  • Summer League recap
  • Deonte Burton sign a 2-way contaract
  • NBA News

Intro/Outro music provided by OSC Productions

Thank you for listening. We will be doing a podcast once a week. If you have any Thunder or NBA related questions, make sure you hit us up on Twitter (@alexroig_NTTB or @Montero_A13).

We are on ITunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Tune In under the NTTB Podcast. Make sure you leave us a 5-star review if you can. As always, Thunder Up!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/111153/745263-episode-36-happy-pg-day.mp3?download=true

NTTB’s Thunder Rumblings – 03 July 2018

img_4063On the 10-year anniversary of Clay Bennett announcing OKC officially had a team, here are 10 defining moments from the Thunder’s website.

Royce Young (ESPN) on the Thunder signing maligned big man Nerlens Noel: “Noel dealt with a thumb injury that caused him to miss a lot of time last season, and was suspended five games in early April for violating the league’s anti-drug program.”

Ron Matthews (OKCThunder.com) looks at the 10-year anniversary: “Thanks to superstar players like Russell Westbrook and a fan base that is impossible to miss, the letters OKC are as universally known throughout the world as PHX, MIA, ATL and other metropolitan cities. Thunder jerseys and merchandise are commonly spotted at airports and other high-traffic venues throughout the country.” Continue reading NTTB’s Thunder Rumblings – 03 July 2018

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preview (Game 61 of 82)

thunder sixers

  • When: Wednesday, 04 February 2015 at 7:00 PM CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

After a nice two day break that allowed some of the injured Thunder players to further collect their bearings, it’s back to the hardwood with one of those players back into the line-up. The Thunder start a home-heavy run that features 9 of their next 11 games in Oklahoma City. With the Thunder clinging to the 8th position by one game over New Orleans, this home-heavy schedule is exactly what the doctor ordered to combat the road heavy schedule that beat the team down in the beginning of the season.

This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams. The Thunder won the first meeting 103-91. That was the first victory of the year where both Westbrook and Durant played, and it happened in early December.

The Opponent

noel covington thompson sixers

The 76ers currently find themselves with a 13-47 record. They score the least amount of points per game in the league (90.3) and give up over 10 points more (100.8 ppg). They have a roster full of 2nd rounders and undrafted free agents. They traded away last season’s rookie of the year, and the two players they drafted in the first round in the last draft have yet to play a game for them this year (Joel Embiid and Dario Saric). They are the epitome of tanking and the bane of the commissioner to field a completely competitive league. With all that said, the players themselves, play extremely hard. The Sixers are guided by 2nd year point guard Isaiah Canaan, who was acquired from the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline. In the 6 games he’s played for the Sixers, he’s averaged 10.5 points and 2.8 assists. The SG position has been a mix of JaKarr Sampson and the veteran Jason Richardson of late. On the other wing, veteran Luc Mbah a Moute is their veteran perimeter stopper. Up front, Nerlens Noel and Henry Sims are an inexperienced pairing, but can change a game with their different skill sets. Noel is a good rim protector and Sims is crafty offensive player in the post. The Sixers are literally like an elementary school team in that nearly everyone on the team plays. Their highest usage players off the bench are Ish Smith, Jerami Grant, Furkan Aldemir, Thomas Robinson, and Hollis Thompson.

Probable Starting Line-Ups

Philadelphia 76ers

  • PG – Isaiah Canaan
  • SG – JaKarr Sampson
  • SF – Luc Mbah a Moute
  • PF – Nerlens Noel
  • C – Henry Sims

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Andre Roberson
  • SF – Kyle Singler
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Enes Kanter

3 Keys to the Game

1. Effort – Sometimes, its hard to remove the stigma of a team’s record from the players on the floor. But the Sixers are a competitive team. Maybe not as skilled as most teams in the league, but it is not due to lack of effort. If the Thunder don’t come out with the right mindset, the game could be a little bit more competitive than they had hoped for.

2. Serge Ibaka – His ability to play on the perimeter will help in pulling Noel away from the rim. Noel is a lot Ibaka in that his biggest asset defensively is as a rim protector.

ibaka westbrook thunder

3. Russell Westbrook – Welcome back after a brief one game absence. But, really, just a plain clear mask? Boooooo!!!!!!

Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers preview (Game 19 of 82)

westbrook thunder carter williams 76ers

  • When: Friday, 05 December 2014 at 6:00 PM CST
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Expectations can be a horrible thing at times. We look at players as statistical numbers, thinking that once they are plugged back into the lineup, their numbers will be added to the bottom line. In emotional haste for satisfaction, we forget to consider the effects of an adjustment period. And that’s what we saw happen on Tuesday, when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook played for the first time together all season. We figured, “20 game win streak upcoming”. Instead, we got a team that seemed a bit too amped up (I’m looking at you Westbrook) and  a defense (or lack thereof) that had only reared its ugly head a couple times this season. Luckily, the Thunder are getting healthy at a time in the schedule where they can fit in some practices. Hopefully, the Thunder can adjust quickly enough and get their chemistry and timing down.

This is the first of two meetings this season between the Thunder and 76ers. The Thunder have won the last 10 meetings against the 76ers, dating back to their inaugural season in Oklahoma City.

The Opponent

Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers come into the game with a 1-17 record, and are riding the high of a 1-game winning streak. This team is the reason draft reform was even brought up earlier this season. The front office has purposely put together a team that is devoid of any establised talent and, outside of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, devoid of any veteran presence. The team is a mixture of burgeoning first round talent, 2nd round hopefuls, and D-League graduates. Michael Carter-Williams returned from shoulder surgery a couple games back and is looking to build on his Rookie of the Year campaign from last season. Though he is offensively inefficient (36.8% FG, 23.5% 3Pt FG), he is a triple double threat every time he walks on the court. Joining him in the backcourt is Tony Wroten, who leads the team in scoring (17.9), assists (6.3), and steals (1.9). Unfortunately, Wroten has been out for the past 3 games due to a sprained knee and will miss the game against the Thunder. Hollis Thompson, who was once a training camp invitee of the Thunder, will replace him in the starting line-up. Up front, Nerlens Noel and Henry Sims provide the Sixers with a front line that struggles at times offensively, but whose energy can affect the game in other ways (defense, rebounding, etc). Off the bench, rookie KJ McDaniels is one of the more versatile players in the league, and Robert Covington is a D-League legend that can fill it up “Nick Young-style” if you allow him to get going.

Probable Starting Line-ups

Philadelphia 76ers

  • PG – Michael Carter-Williams
  • SG – Hollis Thompson
  • SF – Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
  • PF – Nerlens Noel
  • C – Henry Sims

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Andre Roberson
  • SF – Kevin Durant
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Steven Adams

3 Keys to the Game

1. Defense – This team is horrible offensively. They are last in points per game and offensive rating. They are an inefficient bunch that relies on transition opportunities and 2nd chance points to do most of their scoring. With that said, this is still an NBA team that has pushed some good teams to the brink of defeat this season. Also, Covington, McDaniels, and Thompson can light it up from 3-point territory if they are given the opportunity. The Thunder need to come into this game with a defensive mindset and not allow the Sixers any semblance of hope.

jackson thunder carter williams 76ers

2. Depth – The Thunder will finally have a full roster on Friday. All 13 players who will be active will be available for tonight’s game. I have to write that because it is the first time this season I can do that. The Sixers are missing a key piece in Wroten and are talent depleted as is. The Thunder need to take advantage of their depth and wear the Sixers away.

3. Just win – A win streak always starts at one (just ask the Sixers). If the Thunder are to start making up any ground, tonight would probably be the most opportune time to do that.

2014-15 NBA Season Preview: Atlantic Division

Atlantic Division Preview

1. Toronto Raptors 

raptors ross valanciunas lowry derozan

Last season: 48-34 (1st in the Atlantic Division, 3rd in the Eastern Conference)

Season ended: Game 7, 1st round of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets

Key additions:

  • Bruno Caboclo – Draft (No. 20 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Jordan Hamilton – Free agent signing
  • James Johnson – Free agent signing
  • Lucas Nogueira – Obtained in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks
  • Lou Williams –  Obtained in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks

Key departures:

  • John Salmons – Traded to the Atlanta Hawks
  • Steve Novak – Traded to the Utah Jazz

Season Preview – The Toronto Raptors are in prime position to build off the most successful season in franchise history. The young nucleus of Kyle Lowry, DeMar Derozan, Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson, and Terrence Ross is intact and a year older, with Derozan and Valanciunas having just participated in the FIBA World Cup. The Raptors acquired Lou Williams from the Hawks to serve as their offensive firepower off the bench. And they are also developing two Brazilian big men (Caboclo and Nogueria) who may pay dividends in 2015-16.

2014-15 will be successful if: The Raptors make it to the 2nd round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and have at least 2 All-Stars.

Projected 2014-15 Record: 52-30

2. New York Knicks

knicks shumpert anthony bargnani hardaway

Last season: 37-45 (3rd in the Atlantic Division, 9th in the Eastern Conference)

Season ended: Last day of the regular season

Key additions:

  • Quincy Acy – Obtained in a trade with the Sacramento Kings
  • Jose Calderon – Obtained in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks
  • Samuel Dalembert – Obtained in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks
  • Cleanthony Early – Draft (No. 34 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Shane Larkin – Obtained in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks
  • Jason Smith – Free agent signing

Key departures:

  • Tyson Chandler – Traded to the Dallas Mavericks
  • Raymond Felton – Traded to the Dallas Mavericks

Season Preview – Two of the biggest additions for the team have been Phil Jackson (president of basketball operations) and Derek Fisher (head coach). With Carmelo Anthony in the fold for the next 4 seasons guaranteed and plenty of cap space coming up in 2015-16, the Knicks are starting to look like they have a plan. Fisher will likely implement the triangle offense, which will play off the scoring abilities of Anthony and JR Smith to maximize the effect of role players like Calderon, Amare Stoudemire, and Tim Hardaway Jr. It will be a bit of a transition year, but in the weak Eastern Conference, the Knicks will have the ability to make the playoffs.

2014-15 will be successful if: The Knicks make the playoffs.

Projected 2014-15 Record: 43-39

3. Brooklyn Nets

nets williams lopez

Last season: 44-38 (2nd in the Atlantic Division, 6th in the Eastern Conference)

Season ended: Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Miami Heat

Key Additions:

  • Bojan Bogdanovic – Signed Eurostash
  • Markel Brown – Draft (No. 44 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Jarrett Jack – Obtained in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Sergey Karasev – Obtained in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Key departures:

  • Paul Pierce – Signed with the Washington Wizards
  • Andray Blatche – Unsigned
  • Shaun Livingston – Signed with the Golden State Warriors
  • Marcus Thornton –  Traded to the Boston Celtics

Season Preview – The Brooklyn Nets seem to be on the cusp of a rebuild (reload?). Their “all in” move from last offseason (acquiring Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry from the Celtics) did not pan out and the Nets now find themselves with only one of the those 3 still on the roster. Brook Lopez (foot) and Deron Williams (both ankles) are once again coming into the season recovering from surgeries, and Garnett seems to know the end of his career is near. The Nets have some good young role players in Mason Plumlee, Bogdanovic, Karasev, and Teague, but their star players are either at the end of their run or are injury-prone.

2014-15 will be successful if: The Nets make the playoffs

Projected 2014-15 Record: 40-42

4. Boston Celtics

celtics smart young

Last season: 25-57 (4th in the Atlantic Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference)

Season ended: Last day of the regular season

Key Additions:

  • Marcus Smart – Draft (No. 6 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Marcus Thornton – Obtained in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets
  • Evan Turner – Free agent signing
  • James Young – Draft (No. 17 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Tyler Zeller – Obtained in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Key Departures:

  • Kris Humphries – Signed with the Washington Wizards
  • Jerryd Bayless – Signed with the Milwaukee Bucks

Season Preview – The Celtics are in the beginnings of a rebuild and would like nothing more than to use this season to get their young core (Smart, Young, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, and Avery Bradley) plenty of development and playing time together. Along with that, the team has two valuable expiring contracts in Rajon Rondo and Brandon Bass to help out in their rebuilding process.

2014-15 will be successful if: The young players show progression and the Celtics end up with a Top 7 pick.

Projected 2014-15 Record: 23-59

5. Philadelphia 76ers

76ers carter williams noel

Last season: 19-63 (5th in the Atlantic Division, 14th in the Eastern Conference)

Season ended: Last day of the regular season

Key Additions:

  • Joel Embiid – Draft (No. 3 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Dario Saric – Draft (No. 12 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Jerami Grant – Draft (No. 39 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – Obtained in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • KJ McDaniels – Draft (No. 32 in the 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Alexy Shved – Obtained in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves

Key Departures:

  • Thaddeus Young – Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Season Preview – I’ve never seen a more obvious tank job in my life. The entire being of the 76ers at this point is to collect draft picks and young players at whatever cost. That’s not necessarily a bad plan, but everyone else who has done has at least attempted to look like they were trying. They drafted 2 players in the first round in the last draft that likely will not play for the organization this season (Embiid and Saric). This will be Nerlens Noel’s rookie season and last season’s Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, is coming off off-season shoulder surgery. The team traded its best veteran in Thad Young and heads into the season as one of the youngest teams in the league.

2014-15 will be successful if: The 76ers end up with a Top 3 pick and their young players continue to develop.

Projected 2014-15 Record: 12-70