Sixers head coach Brett Brown indicated today to reporters that Nerlens Noel will be available off the bench on Sunday to make his 2016/17 debut against Detroit (Twitter link via Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com). While Philadelphia will be happy to welcome Noel back to the lineup, his return further complicates the club’s frontcourt rotation, as Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News writes. In addition to finding minutes for Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and Noel, Brown will also have to find a way to work in Richaun Holmes, Dario Saric, and Ersan Ilyasova. Embiid won’t play on Sunday, so the Sixers’ head coach won’t have to make any major rotation decisions right away, but those decisions are right around the corner.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- While the Knicks‘ decision to sign Joakim Noah to a pricey four-year contract has received some deserved criticism, many of Phil Jackson‘s other moves are paying off, with the team playing well, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com. That includes the hiring of Jeff Hornacek, though he wasn’t Jackson’s first choice, sources tell Begley. Still, Jackson’s recent public comments about LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have overshadowed the Knicks’ on-court performance, as Begley details.
- Jared Sullinger left the Celtics for the division-rival Raptors this offseason, but admits he still supports his old Boston teammates “from a distance,” per A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Sullinger has yet to make his regular-season debut for Toronto, having undergone foot surgery in October.
- Earlier today, we rounded up a handful of Nets-related items.