Nick Nurse assesses the play of Jaden Springer in 3rd Sixers season

CAMDEN, N.J. — Young Philadelphia 76ers guard Jaden Springer has made strides in his third season in the league. The No. 28 overall pick of the 2021 draft, Springer has already played in a career-high 22 games and averaging a career-high 10.6 minutes in those games.

With that being said, the opportunities for him are still limited. Coach Nick Nurse has a deep bench and when the Sixers are fully healthy, there isn’t much opportunity for Springer to play.

So when the chances do pop up, Springer has to take advantage of them.

“It’s all about—his opportunities are a little sporadic,” said Nurse at practice on Tuesday. “Obviously, it’s not easy to figure out what’s happening when you’re in and out, but that’s just the reality of our bench and the reality of the situation for him. He’s got to make the most of his opportunities and times when he does or when he does get a chance.”

Springer does provide something the Sixers need on a regular basis and that’s his ability to defend the perimeter as well as sticking his nose into the paint and helping on the glass. The biggest challenge he mist overcome is being able to knock down perimeter looks. He’s shooting only 20% from deep on the season and was 0-for-3 in Saturday’s loss to the Utah Jazz.

“We like him,” Nurse continued on Springer. “I think he provides certain things that fill some gaps for us. Great on ball defense and extra possession getter, etc. It’s still gonna come down to can he make some perimeter shots? I would say he didn’t make any the other night, but at least he took them, right? That was one of the things when I first got here that he was a hesitant shooter.”

To Nurse’s point, Springer did not hesitate on those looks. He set his feet, caught it, and let it go. He wasn’t able to convert against the Jazz, but the lack of hesitation is a step in the right direction. Nurse wants him to keep shooting no matter what is going on.

“We’ve tried to say to him like listen it’s rhythm and it comes out to you, you got to take them,” Nurse explained. “It’s just gonna gum up the offense. It’s gonna undo the rhythm. If it’s a rhythm 3, you got to take it. Continue to do that, make some of those, and then he’s got to understand that he’s got to cut his foul rate down some, right? He’s got to do that.”

What Nurse means by that is he doesn’t want Springer committing any unnecessary fouls. If he is going to commit one, Nurse wants it to be making a defensive play and not by trying to get a steal in the backcourt. The pressure he gives is admirable, but he also has to be smart about it.

“There’s times when fouls are needed and important, right?” Nurse finished. “Those are fine if you’re challenging at the rim and making a consequence there to take away a bucket. That’s good, but can’t commit them 84 feet from the basket when they’re in the bonus or getting us quickly to the bonus to start the fourth quarter or something like that.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire