Just hired by the Sixers, Nick Nurse was presented yesterday to the press. Between usual jargon in these situations and thanks to Toronto, Nurse especially remembered one thing: he is in Philadelphia to turn the franchise around. This course has a name and terrifies all of Pennsylvania: the Conference semifinals.
Philly and the second round of the Playoffs has been a running gag for six years now and the journalists present for Nick Nurse’s presentation did not fail to remind him of it. The new coach of the franchise has clearly indicated that it was his priority – if he needed to specify it – and took the opportunity to draw a parallel with his period in Toronto.
“From day one we’re going to talk about that…and that we’re gonna try to attack that. We’re gonna face it and we’re gonna rise above it.” – Nick Nurse on the playoffs pic.twitter.com/FwlBDsJ0LB
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“You’ve already mentioned the second round to me twice, and we’re going to tackle it head-on. […] It was the same in Toronto. We hadn’t played so well […] and the reality is that it was true.” – Nick Nurse on the second round of the Playoffs and Toronto
As he says himself, Nick Nurse has already had this ceiling problem with the Raptors when he was an assistant coach. Well helped by Kawhi Leonard during his first season on the bench, the 2020 Coach of the Year managed to make his Raptors a winning team and was also one of the many executioners of Phila in the second round. It was in 2019, the year of the Canadian coronation and the year of the “Kawhi shoot” of which Joel Embiid still has nightmares. Nightmares that he will quickly have to forget because this is precisely what Nurse insists on. The only thing that matters is the upcoming season, no matter how bad the previous failures were. Questioning yourself, yes. Lamenting his fate, no.
OH THE KAWHI SHOOT OH THE KAWHI SHOOT OH THE SH
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“In my opinion, when we have the opportunity to start and go a little deeper, it will only be focused on what we are trying to do in the future. […] Next season, everything that has happened in the last few years will not matter. –Nick Nurse
Long opponent of the Sixers on the ground, the double N knows perfectly the weaknesses of his new house, and has worked for hours to slow down the major forces. His mission is simple, to break the glass ceiling of his team, in particular that of its executives. Monstrous throughout the regular season, Joel Embiid and James Harden have clearly marked time in the postseason, and this is not the first time. In addition to his qualities as a coach, Nurse will have to use clever managerial methods to restore the confidence of two players who easily become punchlines from April, and whose future in Philly is not even certain in terms of concerns The Beard.
While he does not intend to activate his player option, the 76ers combo guard has been linked for several months to his former love… the Rockets. A choice that may be wobbly, but a choice that has gained weight in recent months. So Nurse Nick must find a way to convince him to stay. His means of persuasion? Win it. The Nick Nurse is sure he can play the title with this roster, and just as sure that it is the lever that will keep Harden. For that, you have to make sure that everyone will pull in the same direction.
Fine politician, the ex-coach of Toronto therefore took the opportunity to sauce everyone. James Harden, but also Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, everyone is nice, everyone is beautiful. If there is absolutely no doubt about his sincerity, Nurse has had several antecedents in Canada with his new franchise player. At the edge of the field or via the press, JoJo and her new coach have already shared a few pleasantries. Nothing really bad in the NBA jungle but all the same a few points to clarify between four eyes. Nothing to worry about the new sheriff in town.
“The rest, as he talks about his falling out with Embiid, is kind of funny to me. I understand that there were exchanges and other things […] but when you’re there and you’re in the heat of the competition, I don’t even remember it.” –Nick Nurse
Doc Rivers gone, are the chokes over? Surely it’s not that simple but Nick Nurse knows the way to victory and has skilfully brushed his stars the right way. Nothing more logical at this stage, but it’s a first step to put them in your pocket.
Source : ESPN