Mid-Season Report Card: Nerlens Noel
Nerlens Noel is a flashy defender on the court. He has great hands to block shots cleanly and get in the way of opponents’ passes. BUT what may surprise you is that his Defensive Rating is 106.7 — very mediocre for someone believed to be a defensive weapon.
That said, Noel has one of the better defensive stat sheets you’ll find in the NBA:
- 2.9 Blocks per 36 (9th in NBA)
- 2.1 steals per 36 (10th in NBA, 1st among centers)
On top of this, Nerlens has quietly had the most efficient offense of his career, among the best in the league.
Additionally, he currently has the 4th best FG% (68.5) in the NBA, and the most dunks (50) on the Thunder roster. While Steven Adams has been attempting to remain healthy, Nerlens has been an outstanding replacement, with the exception of when he broke his face that one time.
The only knock against him has been his subpar defense at times, particularly not being in position during rotations or when attempting to grab a steal.
Nerlens gets an A- grade.