Indiana’s Roy Hibbert doesn’t
think the 76ers’ rebuild will begin until Nerlens Noel takes the floor.
The rookie center, Noel has
not played this season while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL in
his left knee. While Sixers coach Brett Brown often extols the positives of
Noel’s season, which has included traveling with his teammates and being a
visible member of the team for practices and shootarounds, Hibbert said Noel
will have be present in the games for the Sixers’ rebuild to take hold.
“Something’s off,” Hibbert
said last week, when the Pacers were in town to face the Sixers. “They have the
pieces once Nerlens is back. Michael Carter-Williams is a terrific player.
Thaddeus Young has been terrific for years. They’ll be set up for the future
once they get their core guys on the court and build chemistry, and go through
Hibbert referenced a game this
season as an example of such chemistry. He and the Pacers trailed New Orleans by as many as 16
points in the second half, and were down by five with less than two minutes to
play in an Oct. 31 game. Indiana rallied to beat the Pelicans, 95-90.
“With this team, in our second
game of the season, down (16) at New Orleans on the road, we fought back,”
Hibbert said. “Those are the types of things (the Sixers) are going to have to
experience. Once they get those core guys together, they might lose that game
but it’s an experience they need to get. They have to try to rally amongst each
other and fight through that and build a bond through that. They don’t have
that right now, only because they don’t have everybody out there right now.”
The Sixers (15-51) visit the Pacers tonight, looking to snap a franchise-record-tying 20-game losing streak.
Labels: Indiana Pacers, Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, rebuild, Roy Hibbert, Thad Young