Knicks backup center Nerlens Noel will make season debut against Pacers

Nerlens Noel is set to make his season debut when the New York Knicks try to bounce back against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night in Indianapolis.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau made the announcement barely two hours before tip-off, according to multiple reports.

Noel, penciled to be Mitchell Robinson’s backup, has missed the first seven games due to knee soreness and a hamstring issue. He also missed practice on Tuesday due to personal reasons, according to Thibodeau.

Taj Gibson will also be available after tweaking his ankle during their Monday night loss to the Toronto Raptors.

It will mark the first time that the Knicks will have their full lineup available.

Noel served as the backbone of the Knicks’ top-four defense when Robinson went down with two serious injuries last season. He averaged 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and a league-third best 2.2 blocks.

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