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Embiid can't wait to block shots with Noel
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For the Sixers, the thought of having Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel patrolling their frontcourt is intriguing.

But with Embiid recovering from stress fracture surgery on his right foot, it remains only a thought -- for now.

Whenever they do get on the court together, Embiid believes it'll be difficult for other teams to get to the basket.

"I look forward to playing with Nerlens and I think we're going to be pretty good," Embiid said Tuesday in Los Angeles. “We're both excellent shot blockers, so it is going to be hard for teams to score on us.”

In 2013 -- his only season at Kentucky -- Noel averaged 4.4 blocks per game before tearing his ACL. At Kansas this past season, Embiid averaged 2.6 blocks, but his blocks per 40 minutes was 4.5.

Considering the Sixers ranked 25th last season with 4.0 blocks per game, the swatting duo will be a welcomed sight.

"With a team that the GM, Sam [Hinkie], is building -- all the athletic forwards -- that's a defensive-minded team," Embiid said. "Defense wins games and defense wins championships."

Tim Duncan and David Robinson, as the Spurs' "Twin Towers," won two championships. They were one of the most formidable power forward-center combinations in NBA history.

During the 1999 title run, Duncan averaged 2.6 blocks, and Robinson added 2.4.

Four years later, the twosome totaled 110 blocks in 47 playoff games combined -- Duncan 3.3, Robinson 1.3.

The proof is in the pudding: Defense wins championships.

The 7-foot Embiid and 6-foot-11 Noel could be the second coming of the "Twin Towers."

"To be compared to David Robinson and Tim Duncan," Embiid said, "I mean, Tim Duncan is one of the greatest, if not maybe the greatest at his position. I mean, it's nice and people have also compared me to Hakeem [Olajuwon] and I like it. I will do my best to reach that level. I'm not going to take anything for granted."

After last season, Sixers fans know better than to take for granted that they will see the No. 3 pick Embiid play this coming season.

"I feel like what I learned on how to manage Nerlens Noel last year is so easily transferred on how we can do an even better job with Joel Embiid," Sixers coach Brett Brown said.

"I am not even talking about the position or the injury, just holistically what you do to make it inclusive and educational."

The Sixers will be cautious with the 20-year-old, but Embiid is sticking with his original goal of helping the Sixers this year.

"I decided to leave college and go to the NBA to play and if I don't play, I will be disappointed," Embiid said. "But right now, I'm just thinking about the recovery and doing everything it takes to get back stronger and help the team.”