How might Nurse’s experience with Gasol help in coaching Embiid? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
During the final answer of his first press conference as Sixers head coach on Thursday, Nick Nurse brought up an outstanding center not named Joel Embiid.
“We’re just trying to maximize what the roster looks like,” Nurse said. “We really had to generate turnovers (with the Raptors) and get out and score in transition, and all those things. But 2018-19 was a different roster. We did have (Marc) Gasol and we played a different style and a different defense. Again, it’s going to be whatever’s best for this team to try to get ‘em to be the best they can be.”
Though a touch past his prime when Toronto acquired him at the trade deadline, Gasol played a giant part in the team’s championship run.
Ironically, Gasol’s defense on Embiid was very valuable in the Raptors’ second-round playoff series win over the Sixers. For Embiid, that devastating defeat pushed him to expand his game so he had more options against physical defenses and constant double teams.
While the second round has remained problematic, he’s now a back-to-back scoring champion and the reigning MVP.
“Joel has a lot of attributes,” Nurse said. “First of all, defensively — very, very good. And then offensively, he’s very, very skilled. And again, it’s a little bit early, but I think that once it starts unfolding and we start learning each other … we’re just going to try to max it out. I can’t sit here and tell you tactically what that means today, but we’re going to certainly try to put him in situations where he’s going to be super dominant.”
Without diving into specific schemes, Nurse did say he’d like to see Embiid facilitate for teammates more.
“The short answer to that is yes,” he said. “I think he’s got the ability to do that. I think it’s part of what I historically like to do as well. I also think that there’s a lot of changing defenses now — a lot more than you’ve probably seen six or seven years ago — so you’ve got to combat and be ready for all of those. There’s a lot…
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Author : NBC Sports Philadelphia
Publish date : 2023-06-02 23:45:00
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