Sixers training camp preview: Where exactly can Nurse make an impact? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
While the general idea of a Year 1 coaching boost sounds nice for the Sixers, the team’s Nick Nurse for Doc Rivers swap won’t equate to radical changes in every imaginable area.
The Sixers’ game plans will still largely revolve around reigning MVP Joel Embiid. And as the NBA world waits to see what’s next for James Harden and Jrue Holiday, many of the Sixers’ key players from last season — Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, De’Anthony Melton — remain on the roster.
The Sixers will absolutely not be identical with Nurse at the helm, though. Here are ways we think he can make a real impact this season:
Different kinds of connections
Between his time as a player and a head coach, Rivers has over 3,000 games of NBA experience (counting the playoffs). Though he obviously has not struck the right notes in every player relationship, that volume of work has often served him well and generated immediate respect.
Nurse was once a player and coach simultaneously at a level far below the NBA. Soon after graduating from Northern Iowa, he accepted a player-coach job for the Derby Rams in the British Basketball League. On a winding path to the NBA, Nurse learned how to build teams, adapt rapidly and speak with earned authority.
“I carry it all forward,” Nurse wrote in “Rapture,” his 2020 book with Michael Sokolove. “Every crazy, maddening, fulfilling day of that three-decade odyssey.”
This Sixers team is full of players on expiring contracts, which won’t be new to Nurse.
“You’ve got to instill that you’re playing to win the game,” Nurse said on the Old Man and the Three podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. “And I always say 1A. is can we increase each player’s value in the marketplace? And No. 1 always helps that.”
The transition game
The Sixers’ half-court offense was a major strength last season. The team’s 102.6 points per 100 half-court plays ranked fourth in the NBA, according to Cleaning the Glass.
However, the Sixers didn’t play much in transition. Their…
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Author : NBC Sports Philadelphia
Publish date : 2023-10-01 00:17:41
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