The Nets signed center Nerlens Noel to a 10-day contract and he’s already started. That happened in Thursday’s road loss to the Bucks.
Brooklyn can still sign him to one more 10-day, but then must decide whether to sign him to a standard deal for the rest of the season … or let him walk. Odds seem to be in favor of Noel sticking around.
“I don’t really look at the days of the contract,” Noel told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “I just come here and hoop, prepare before I get here and everything else takes care of itself simply. I’m a 10-year veteran in this league, so I don’t really look at all the small things like that.
“I just look at the overall big picture that they need me to help, they need me in this backup five position to help them win, and I’m fully taking on that challenge and opportunity. It’s not my first time or my second time, so I take it all in and stay ready.”
Coach Jacque Vaughn appeared to be impressed with what he saw from Noel in Noel’s 18 minutes.
“[Noel’s] ability to still get to the rim, to screen and put some pressure on the rim is huge for us,” Vaughn said, via the Post. “He has a good IQ of how to screen, how to get out of those situations. I’ll be interested to see if we can get him the ball in the pocket and he can spread it and find shooters. So still trying to figure out where he’s at, just how many minutes he can play.”
Center James Wiseman and coach Dwane Casey both indicated after Thursday’s loss to the Hornets that the Pistons need to come out with more energy to start games in the final stretch.
“It’s super tough to be playing from behind every night,” Wiseman told reporters. “We need to find a way to come out with better energy to get over this hump.”
Casey said that was particularly evident in this particular defeat.
“I thought our approach was disappointing tonight,” he said. “I don’t know if it is just all the games we’ve played in a short time, but I didn’t feel like we came out with the kind of energy we needed.”
- The Pistons announced Thursday that center/forward Isaiah Stewart is suffering from a right shoulder impingement and will be re-evaluated in three to four weeks. Stewart is second on the team in rebounds and blocked shots.
Forward Thaddeus Young said it’s actually fun fighting for a playoff spot — a position the Raptors find themselves in today. They currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s always exciting because every game is one of those situations where, man, we can put ourselves in a better seeding, a better position than the day before,” Young said, via Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. “For us, it’s always going to be exciting. We’re in a situation now where we’re trying to continue to move up the standings. Every game that somebody loses or wins can determine whether they go from seven to 10. Even the six spot is still up for grabs.
“Those things are the things we’re fighting for right now … If we could get ourselves, by winning games, to a situation where we don’t have to play the play-in, it’d be great as well.”