If this Philadelphia 76ers franchise hasn’t already completely drained the life from you and left you a desiccated husk, one of the primary reasons for optimism about the upcoming season is new head coach Nick Nurse. In this offseason’s coaching search, Nurse met Sixers fans’ top criteria of ‘not being Doc Rivers,’ but even aside from that reasoning, the 2019 NBA Champion and 2020 NBA Coach of the Year is an exciting hire.
Since arriving in Philadelphia, Nurse has been following the Philadelphia pandering playbook, doing a Craig Kimbrel impression while throwing out the first pitch at a Phillies game, and chopping it up with the Eagles coaches. Earlier this summer, He coached a few Summer League games himself to show he’s invested in the program from top to bottom. Of course, results on the court are what are going to ultimately matter, but let’s enjoy the consequences-free Nurse content until then, including Ky Carlin’s interview with him on Monday for Sixers Wire.
Our Erin Grugan already broke down Nurse’s thoughts on managing Embiid under the league’s new rest policy, but there are other noteworthy nuggets.
The Paul Reed Shooting Hype Train Rolls Ahead
On a question that actually started about Tobias and his role:
“I do keep a pretty loose lid on the roles if that makes any sense because I think there is guys—there’s some guys maybe they never shot 3-pointer before and they’re not bad and we may need them to shoot more 3s or, or whatever it is. Paul Reed would be a good example for us for that. When we got James and Joel out there, there’s gonna be some open 3s. So let’s start to open up their minds a little bit and let’s get working on it, and let’s see what happens. Things like that.”
Later describing the ‘Nurse’s Pill’:
“Yeah, I mean, listen about day two after I had the job, we went in the gym with Paul Reed and we just tried to start making a couple mechanical adjustments on his shooting form to see if he couldn’t shoot it a little better. It’s really been going good. I think he’s gonna have a good, good season.”
At this rate, Reed is going to be giving the Splash Brothers a run for their money by December.
On his crazy schemes:
“The funny thing about all that stuff is, almost always it comes to me on the spur of the moment as to what’s needed right now. Like, we need to do this for whatever reason. Full court press like, I don’t know, there’s a whole list of things I can tell you why we needed to do it, but it just feels like the right time to do it, and yeah, and we usually get some success out of them. If we do … we do put it in our playoff toolbox. If it doesn’t work, whatever funky thing we try, we crumple it up real quick and throw it in the throat in the waste bin and don’t revisit it, but we got to try a bunch of stuff to see what we can come up with.”
Imagine, a head coach who thinks outside the box and experiments with different things. How refreshing.
On what he wants to see from Maxey:
“Yeah, we’ll start on the defensive. I think he’s been blessed with all that speed and quickness and I think we need to figure out a way for him to use it for a little bit more of disruptive situations. I think he’s so fast that he can go get the ball a little bit more, right? And disrupt the guy he’s guarding or get in passing lanes or whatever, and offensively, he just needs, to me, he’s awesome again with his speed. His shooting has really gotten good from deep. I want him to create more for others. I want him to see a little bit more of the floor and see where his teammates are, and eventually, when he’s scoring so much that they’re going to start sending multiple bodies at him, I want to be able to see who’s open.”
Evolving as a creator is definitely the next step for Tyrese, particularly important for the Sixers if James Harden is receiving a bunch of ‘DNP - hurt feelings’ designations.
On P.J. Tucker’s fit:
“I coached him in Toronto. I loved him when we had him there. He is really a I mean, he’s a specialist. He really is and that specialist is like he’s one of the toughest dudes in the league. There isn’t a whole lot of guys that like hang their hat on just being really tough. He’s a veteran and he’s smart and he guards and he also, he’ll hurt you with that corner 3. Like that’s the thing that I want to see him get back to is parking in that corner and pulling that trigger fearlessly time after time because he‘s had some great seasons doing that.”
I just hope the Nurse knows more than the Doc about how to cure dead hand syndrome.
Again, be sure to check out the full interview, which also includes Arkells lead singer Max Kerman for a lot of great music talk.