CAMDEN, N.J. — As the Philadelphia 76ers enter a new era in franchise history, there will be an adjustment period to new coach Nick Nurse and his schemes.
Nurse is not afraid to implement an unorthodox scheme out of the blue in the middle of the game if he believes it will help his team. Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet described Nurse as different, which Joel Embiid and Co. will have to adjust to.
There will be times when Nurse will throw out a defensive scheme Embiid and the Sixers have never run before, but they will need an open mind and trust in order to make this work.
“Just like all of it, it’s a collaborative effort,” Nurse started. “If it’s different, unique, something they’ve never done or I’ve never done, it goes to them and explained to them as to why I think it might work and then they have to buy it and they’ve got to do it.”
Nurse is known for his outside-the-box thinking and his ability to make adjustments on the fly. That’s why he’s had so much success in this league. He implements an interesting idea just to try it. If it works, great. If not, he moves on.
“If it doesn’t work and it’s a really bad idea, like I said, we’re gonna crumple up really quick and move on to something else, but if it does, we’ll kinda put it over here and sometimes we call it our playoff toolbox,” Nurse continued. “Something we’ve tried that works on a certain guy that we may need down the road.”
In the end, it all comes down to whether the Sixers, led by Embiid, can have an open mind when presented with a new idea. It might not be any type of traditional basketball scheme. Nurse might present a box-and-one defense, a full-court press in the second quarter, or a different type of zone, but if the group is open-minded, it will have success.
“It really starts with asking them to be open-minded,” Nurse finished. “Like be open-minded and we’re probably gonna do some things that you haven’t done before and I know that because sometimes we don’t even as a coaching staff, know what they are. They present themselves with a certain group of guys against a certain opponent in a certain situation. It’s kinda open-mindedness and a collaborative effort, really.”
The Sixers will get their first taste of Nurse when training camp rolls around at the end of September.