PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As far as what's happening on the court, there hasn't been joy in watching the Philadelphia 76ers recently. Losers of 16 straight games, the streak has left the team without a win since January 29th. For those unaware, it's March 10th.
One thing that could provide a bit of a spark, for perhaps both the fans and some of the players, is the debut of rookie center Nerlens Noel. That spark could be on its way.
Noel cryptically tweeted "4-4-14," which happens to be the date of a Sixers road game against the Celtics. It would be a homecoming of sorts for Noel, who is from Malden, Massachusetts, and still has family and friends in the area.
Noel tore his ACL while playing for the University of Kentucky in February of 2013, and has been rehabbing since. His rehab has gone well, according to all reports, though most have remained doubtful Noel would play this season. Noel was acquired by the Sixers in a draft night trade for point guard Jrue Holiday.
According to one report, the date is in fact, a target return date for Noel. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Noel wants to play on April 4th, but has not informed the team of that desire.
A glimpse of Noel would be an exciting moment for Sixers fans, who have watched a team that is constructed largely of players who would not get court time for most winning teams.
Hitting the court on April 4th would mean an opportunity to play in the Sixers seven remaining games. However, it would seem likely Sixers fans would only have one opportunity to see Noel in person. The Sixers have two home games in their final seven, but the first of which is on April 5th against the Nets. If Noel does play on the 4th, it seems likely Noel would not play in back-to-back games, leaving April 14th against the Celtics the only possible home game.
If they can only allow Noel to take some minutes for Byron Mullens and Henry Sims.
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