Last season, the combination of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor didn't work out too well. This year, we haven't seen Okafor with Joel Embiid more than for a couple of minutes, but on Wednesday night when the Sixers host Sacramento, the two big men are set to play together.
"It's my expectation that we will play those two together," coach Brett Brown said Monday. "At what point? I have not thought that through yet." [Philly.com]
The likely reason for the pairing of centers is because the Kings put both DeMarcus Cousins and fellow center Kosta Koufas in the starting lineup on a regular basis. With Cousins at 6-foot-11 and Koufas standing tall at an even seven feet, the two young Sixers centers will get a chance to play side by side while also learning about how to co-exist on the court moving forward from the Kings.
"I've said time and time again that me and Joe are eager to play together," Okafor said. "We want to play together. We hope the opportunity presents itself." [Philly.com]
Embiid will be expected to guard Cousins, who is averaging a career best 28.7 points to go along with 10.4 rebounds. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid is running circles around the his fellow rookies, averaging 18.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. That would put Okafor on Koufas, who averages 5.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in just over 20 minutes a game. Jahlil is averaging 10.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 49.4 percent to lead the Sixers.