BILL STREICHER/USA TODAY SPORTS
Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor have been victim of some scrutiny from the Sixers community. It seems to be more frustration in the fact that Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor haven’t worked out together. That’s not to say they both haven’t had individual success. Both have seen struggles for stretches throughout the season, but it seems to have been reduced (for now).
The reason? Ish Smith.
People think Ish was just an improvement for Nerlens Noel, but the addition seems to be finally helping rookie big man Jahlil Okafor.
Let’s try this again: NBA FG% leaders, since the Ish Smith trade, with a minimum of 150 field goal attempts: pic.twitter.com/6WUrpxM59g
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 9, 2016
It is crazy to think that Ish Smith has helped these two so much in such a short span of time. Nerlens and Ish already have past chemistry but Okafor is still very new to Ish’s tendencies.
That being said, it is still going to be a wait and see for these two. Yes, the Sixers are still losing games at a terrible rate but the team is a few guards away from being respectable again in this league.
Amazing Okafor is still shooting nearly 60% on shots within 5′ considering: a) 55% of them are unassisted, b) gets blocked so frequently.
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 10, 2016
Evidence shows Okafor is still having trouble finding the ball in a pick and roll situation, which is something that he will have to work on to be the most successful in the type of basketball that is played today.
It is good to see that both of them are increasing their stats since the addition of a formidable point guard, and eventually it will turn into more wins once they have more talent around them. They can’t do it alone, but it is important that one of them or both of them are part of center pieces going forward.