Loss to Thunder is beginning of a significant stretch for Nerlens Noel’s career
When it comes to rescue, the Mavericks are certified experts.
“Loss to Thunder is beginning of a significant stretch for Nerlens Noel’s career” : For example, most of this season in and out of court belongs to the junkyard with all other rusty and broken clunkers.
But a different kind of rescue started Wednesday night. Call the ‘Nerlens Noel’ recovery project.
Love Mavericks, if the big man could get out of the scrap gaps, recover the value of it, and the team hoped for what they expected when they were doing business for one year ago.
Noel, of course, would not like anything better. Starting with the 111-110 loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, Noel has a 21-game window to rebuild his name brand after losing three months due to ligament surgery near his left thumb. And frankly, he was not playing too well before then, although we did not know how much that was due to the injury.
Coach Rick Carlisle has been fairly straightforward about what the last six weeks of the season will mean for Noel.
“It’s the unhealthiest secret in the world that he’s playing for a contract – let’s be honest,” Carlisle said. “And we want him to do well. Hey, we trade for him in the hope that he can be here for the long haul. And sometimes things do not go exactly as planned.
“When the injury came, he was having some trouble catching the ball and his thumb was doubling the wrong way. We need to understand.”
The recovery took longer than expected. But as he managed to catch the ball with his left hand – and his first bucket in the first half of Wednesday was a left-handed jump hook – Noel was ready to start the process of trying to turn heads in his reduced season.
If his first game back was any indication, Carlisle wants to take a good look at how Noel joins the bodyguard of rookie Dennis Smith Jr. The pair was pretty much in court and they had their moments.
But it was a defensive moment in the third quarter that probably gave Carlisle his biggest thrill of the night. Noel was at the difficult point of having to stop Russell Westbrook on a quick trip to the basket.
When Westbrook leased, the nail refused the shot and closed the Westbrook’s shoulders.
“I know that,” said Carlisle. “He has fresh legs.”
Noel ended up playing 16 minutes and while their numbers would not turn heads – four points, three rebounds and the big block at Westbrook. But in terms of rust overturned, passionate play and energy, it was a successful comeback to action.
The next 20 games will determine if Noel can build out of it and rebuild his name by joining the agency unrestrained this summer.
Loss of overtime: Russell Westbrook took over overtime, while the Oklahoma City Thunder won a 111-110 win at the American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks climbed 110-108, but Westbrook’s three-point game with 38.2 seconds left the Thunder back.
Harrison Barnes, who had 26 points of the best team, was called for an offensive foul, but Westbrook returned with a similar foul with 17.6 seconds.
After a lack of shooting, the Mavericks called a timeout of 6.1 to set the potential winner of the game. But Dennis Smith Jr.’s corner jumper was off on the doorbell.
Westbrook finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
The Mavericks needed a buzz shot by Dwight Powell to force the overtime. He made up two free throws lost with 1:08 to pass Powell, who had another strong overall night with 21 points and eight rebounds, scoring 10 of 13 shots.
Briefly: Dirk Nowitzki passed the 31,000 mark in the second quarter with a jumper of over 12 meters … J.J. Barea continues to accumulate aids in limited play time. He had five in just nine-minute midday on Wednesday … In a TickPick ticket market study; the Mavericks have the sixth lowest ticket price on average in the NBA by a few cents over $ 50 by ticket. New Orleans, at about $ 41, has the lowest average ticket price and Golden State, at over $ 211, has the highest.