October 2, 2023

From Doc to Nurse—76ers Hire Nick Nurse as Head Coach


Gary Vasquez/USA TODAY

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the 76ers have hired Nick Nurse to be their next head coach. Nurse was the head coach of the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors and also won the Coach of the Year award in 2020.

Nurse is highly regarded for his creativity on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court. Even after losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency, he led his team to a 53-19 record in the pandemic-shortened season after winning the title. Many people around the league point to this season as a reason why Nurse is such a good coach. Historically, his teams have all been built around wing players, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts his game plans to center them around Sixers’ star Joel Embiid. With Embiid being the anchor of the defense, it will allow him to play more and create looks without worrying about the back end. The real question marks will be how will Nurse adjusts his offense to be run through a center.

The hiring of Nurse is a positive sign for the development of Tyrese Maxey, as we have seen multiple point guards thrive under Nurse’s guidance, including Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet.

The Sixers are going to need Maxey to take a leap next year, and Nurse may be the guy to unlock him.

With Nurse, the Sixers are getting someone with a recent proven track record, and someone who is adaptable. These are two traits that their last coach lacked, and it showed in the Sixers’ series with the Celtics. Nurse reportedly pulled himself out of the running for the Bucks job to accept this position, so that should show you how much he believes in this roster, and more importantly, in Joel Embiid.

We will have to wait and see if Nurse can be the guy to take the Sixers over the top next playoffs, but they are already better with him at the helm than they were when their season ended.

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