New Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse singled out Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey during his introductory press conference on June 1. Nurse talked about how hard it was to play against him when he coached the Toronto Raptors.
“First of all, from afar, playing against him was very difficult. Just the sheer speed and quickness that he has, it was tough to game plan against him. Sometimes, you just can’t beat the speed,” Nurse said during his introductory press conference, per 6abc Philadelphia.
Nurse added that Maxey managed to make himself tougher to beat on top of being too fast.
“What our experience was it wasn’t just speed and layups, then he started shooting the ball really well, and he started making further layups, and then we were trying to get him away from the rim, but he’d still make a lot of them.”
Though Nurse acknowledged how good Maxey is, he believes Maxey has room to grow as a creator.
“He could be more of a creator. You say, ‘well, what is creating?’ Well, creating is you’re scoring, or you’re drawing more people than one and then creating for others, so can he make the reads? All the reads? That’s the first place I would start offensively is getting him more reps in the pick-and-roll so he can make the reads to all the other players on the floor depending on what he sees.”
Maxey is coming off a season in which he averaged 20.3 points on 48.1% from the field and 43.4% from three.
Nurse’s Thoughts on Keeping James Harden
During his press conference, Nurse gave his thoughts on Harden and whether or not he would like to coach the former MVP
“James Harden is a great player,” Nurse said. “I would say this is that James has a decision to make, and I would be very happy if he came back.”
Nurse confirmed that he has spoken with Harden after getting hired by the Sixers, though they did not talk about the prospect of his return. He also added what his pitch will be to Harden and the other Sixers.
“I am going to sit down, as I am with all of the guys. I am going to sit down with all of them 1-on-1, face-to-face here shortly, but listen, I think that winning is always the sell.”
Daryl Morey Explains Why Nick Nurse Was the Right Choice
During Nurse’s introductory press conference, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey explained why he chose Nurse to replace Doc Rivers as the Sixers’ head coach.
“Obviously, a championship pedigree at multiple levels is a big factor,” Morey explained. “His creativity, the fact that a partner in how to create results, I think is a big factor. He checks every box. Relationships with players, working with star players, tactics, someone that people wanna play for, it’s a pretty long list, and we thought he was a pretty special candidate.”
Nurse has a title as well as the 2020 NBA Coach of the Year to his resume, which no doubt played into why he was an appealing candidate for the job.