Former Teammate Pachulia: Sixers a ‘great Situation' for Justin Anderson

Sometimes it's hard to get the full picture of a player from a stat line.

In the case of Justin Anderson, he had appeared in only 106 NBA games and averaged under 13 minutes before the Sixers acquired him from the Mavericks in the Nerlens Noel trade.

How much do 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds over a short career tell about someone?

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Not enough, if you ask Zaza Pachulia. 

Pachulia was teammates with Anderson last season when Anderson was a rookie with Dallas. The veteran big man recognized a hustle that didn't always get the opportunity to be displayed on the court.

"He has a really good heart," Pachulia said. "A good personality, positive, works hard. He had some rookie mistakes sometimes, but just a good kid overall."

Anderson found himself toward the bottom of the depth chart on an experienced Mavericks team last season. Even though he appeared in only 55 games as a rookie, he stayed optimistic from the sidelines.

"That's one of the tests, especially for rookies, how they handle the situation where they don't get playing time," Pachulia said. "He had a great attitude and positive attitude. We've seen him play, we've seen him not play, but he always brings a great vibe in the locker room. Maybe inside of him, he wants to play, and that's normal, of course he should want to play. But when he didn't get those minutes he was still smiling and just working hard."

Pachulia got a glimpse into Anderson's game during practice and shootarounds. Anderson has to work on his shot (40.5 percent from the field for his career) but has a natural skill set that holds potential.

"Physically he's so strong and athletic," Pachulia said. "He's tough but he has to learn how to use it the right way. He will with the experience of playing and getting more consistent minutes and working with the coaches."

Pachulia foresees the 23-year-old Anderson thriving in a change of scenery that meshes with his talents and development.

"I think it's a great situation for him," Pachulia said. "He can grow with the team."

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