Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/6/13
Some might view what Nerlens Noel is about to endure as lost time. Brett Brown, however, sees things differently. The 76ers coach said he and his staff are dedicated to improving Noel’s shot — perhaps even rebuilding it entirely — as the rookie center continues to rehab a surgically repaired knee that may keep him out all season. “You bucket him up into, ‘Is it a total rebuild?’ and I think Nerlens is a total rebuild,” Brown said Tuesday at PCOM, following the Sixers’ practice. “You do stuff with Evan (Turner)’s footwork, which we’ve done. You do stuff with release points or you exaggerate follow-throughs with Tony Wroten, because everything is a hot stove. Everything is tweakable. I think Nerlens is a total rebuild. “He’s wide-eyed and open. He’s a willing learner because he knows. He’s looking for advice and he’s looking for someone to help him. That’s my job. I’ll be really disappointed if, in April, if we don’t look back and say we made good ground. We helped his shot. It is really hard to change stuff a lot. I think the basic areas we’re looking at are changeable and we’re working with him.” Brown said last month that Noel, the sixth overall pick in last summer’s draft, may not play this season while battling back from a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last February. Still, the 19-year-old is healthy enough to be on the court at the end of Sixers practices. He’s working with Brown and assistant coach Greg Foster in a number of shot-related drills: one-handed shots on the baseline, low-impact low post moves, free-throw shooting form and baby-hook shots, to name a few. At Tuesday’s practice, Noel and Foster played a friendly game of “Horse.” Noel is the centerpiece of the Sixers’ rebuilding effort. Having him at the ready, whenever his knee is deemed healed, is seeded highly on Brown’s to-do list. The cornerstone of Brown’s plan with Noel is the free-throw line. “When you actually start looking and breaking it down — release points and feet and hand-position on balls and all of that — you start with the free throws, but it carries over to now he’s going to turn and face (the basket),” Brown said. “(Noel) really likes (Brooklyn forward) Kevin Garnett. Those turn-and-face bigs, at some point, he aspires to be one of them even though he’s a post player initially. The free throws carry over into other parts of the game.”
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