Nerlens Noel is expected to miss his third straight game by sitting out tonight’s matchup against the Raptors. Noel, who has started one game and averaged 24 minutes per game as a Mav, has reported swelling in his left knee.
This is the same knee that suffered a torn ACL that pushed him to the Philadelphia 76ers at 6th overall in the 2013 draft, after initially being pegged for the number one overall. Noel redshirted his rookie season as part of the #trusttheprocess and came back the following year (2014-15) to play pretty well in 75 games.
In 2015-16, Noel experienced tendonitis in his right knee and played in 67 games. This year, Noel had a late offseason surgery on his left knee for an inflamed plica and didn’t play until December 11. There was a minor controversy about his role when he came back, but he has been healthy since until the last few games.
It’s a little worrying (anyone who hasn’t put a bottle of rum in their Nerlens Noel temple please leave) to see any seven-footer experience leg problems, especially if it’s the knee that has been under the knife a couple times. However, this is a good reminder why perhaps Philly was willing to trade a formerly prized big man who has played well in the league so far.
The good news is that Noel seems more confident about rejoining the team on Wednesday against the Wizards.
Nerlens Noel spoke after practice - Swelling down in left knee, says it's borderline but wants to be 100%, targeting return on Wed. vs WAS— Mark Followill (@MFollowill) March 13, 2017
I’ve been wanting to write more about Nerlens Noel’s play and impact on the Mavericks but wanted more games for my sample. So for that reason and many more important ones, stay healthy, big fella.