Tag: Nerlens Noel

Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Mike Scott

Friday night video fun: Best blocks of 2014-15 season

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It’s Friday night, you can either go to a bar and watch guys get rejected by the cute redhead and her friends, or you can just watch the best rejections of the last NBA season right here. Take your pick.

Nerlens Noel and DeAndre Jordan, of course, have a couple good ones, but my favorites belong to Kemba Walker and Blake Griffin.

Jahlil Okafor on upcoming rookie season: “My role is to dominate”

Jahlil Okafor, Richaun Holmes and J.P. Tokoto attend a press conference after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA draft

The Sixers have been looking for a franchise centerpiece for several years. In the last three drafts, they’ve taken big men with high ceilings, and the first two, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, have battled injuries at the beginning of their careers. Embiid is out for the upcoming season after re-fracturing a bone in his right foot, which will open up plenty of room for this year’s No. 3 overall pick, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, to get minutes. Okafor says he’s ready to assume the mantle of franchise player.

From Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

Okafor won’t have much help as he begins his NBA journey. Nerlens Noel, a wiry first-team all-rookie power forward, is expected to serve as a defensive complement to Okafor, but the 76ers currently only have four other players on the roster selected in the first round. And, Joel Embiid, the third pick of the 2014 draft, won’t make his NBA debut for at least another season after reportedly re-breaking the same right foot that caused the 7-foot center to miss all of last season. Okafor doesn’t believe his responsibilities to the organization will change with Embiid sidelined.

“My role is to dominate,” Okafor said. “I’m one of the centerpieces of the team, so my role is the same.”

Okafor’s former Duke teammate Tyus Jones also offers a ringing endorsement of Okafor in Lee’s story:

“He’s a winner,” Jones said of Okafor. “He’s someone who is going to work his tail off in the gym. And try to learn at the same time. Him being a competitor, he hates to lose, so he’ll bring a winning culture to that franchise and he’s going to help them out a lot.”

Throughout much of last college basketball season, Okafor was the presumptive No. 1 pick in the draft. He fell to No. 3 after the Lakers surprisingly took Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell second. He’s still considered an elite, potentially franchise-changing talent at center, and showed flashes of that at Summer League. If he emerges as that level of player in his first season as a pro, it will go a long way in advancing what has been a controversial and interminable rebuilding process so far in Philadelphia.

Nik Stauskas looking for redemption in Philadelphia

Sacramento Kings Media Day

LAS VEGAS — Nik Stauskas’ rookie year was not pretty.

Touted as one of the best shooters in the draft, taken No. 8 by the Kings, he shot just 28.8 percent on jumpers before the All-Star break. He called it the worst slump of his life. It didn’t help that the Kings’ went through three coaches with three different philosophies in one season, but Stauskas isn’t making excuses.

“Very poor,” were the words Stauskas used to describe his play last season. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to and that’s just on me. That’s just on me. That’s why this summer I’ve taken the time to work as hard as I can so I don’t have to go through that and I can show people the player I am in this league….

“Anyone who has three coaches in a year, there’s not going to be a lot of consistency, whether it’s with minutes or style of play and whatnot. But I can’t use that as an excuse on gameday, I’m out on the floor and I’ve either got to put the ball in the basket or not put the ball in the basket, and I wasn’t doing that last year.”

He’s going to do try and get his redemption in Philadelphia.

He was shipped East as part of a salary dump deal by the Kings that also included Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, a future first-round pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2016 and 2017  going to Philly for second round draft-and-stash guys Arturas Gudatis and Luka Mitrovic. (Philly won that trade by a mile.)

Stauskas started to show some of his promise under the faster-paced, more open style of George Karl — he shot 42.1 percent from three after the All-Star break. But it wasn’t his offense that kept Karl from trusting him more, it was the defense and he knows that’s where he will need to improve.

There were countless times last year I would go on the floor and I was targeted, right away teams would attack me, and the adjustment to the physicality and defense,” Stauskas said. “It’s an adjustment and I’m just getting better every day on it.”

That work was put on hold for a couple weeks after he rolled his ankle this summer, but Stauskas said his ankle is better now, and there was no structural damage.

With Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel in the paint, if Stauskas can knock down threes to space the floor, and if he can play at a fast pace, Brett Brown is going to give him some run.

Stauskas is going to get a second chance to make a first impression. He just wants the one in Philadephia to go much better than that first attempt.