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Nick Nurse Sends Message on Joel Embiid’s Role With Sixers

Joel Embiid

Getty Joel Embiid

New Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse talked about a lot of things Sixers-related while talking with new Sixer Patrick Beverley on the September 6 episode of “The Pat Bev Podcast With Rone.” Chief among them was what he plans to do with reigning MVP Joel Embiid.

Nurse talked about what he expects from Embiid defensively.

“I hate to be boring and start at the defensive end, but I’m going to really expect a lot more rim protection from him,” Nurse said. “I would say that would be where I’m going to start at. We’re going to probably let our aggressive guards be really aggressive and funnel a lot of things to him. I am expecting that, I always say like, he’s gonna take more swings at blocked shots.”

Nurse then added how he plans to incorporate Embiid offensively.

“I think he continues to develop and be creative on offense. I would imagine you’re gonna see him doing about a little bit of everything offensively from bringing it up the floor to running screen and rolls to DHOs to we’re going to be running some down screens, cross screens, back screens, whatever. They’re gonna have to defend everything with him, and hopefully, we can get him the ball.”

Nurse came to the Sixers with both a title and a Coach of the Year award under his belt from his days with the Toronto Raptors.

Joel Embiid Assures Sixers He’s Fine With Ongoing Drama

Though the Sixers have been immersed in the ongoing drama with James Harden, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Embiid has assured the team that he is fine with everything that’s been going on, although it remains to be seen if it will stay that way.

“Thus far, Embiid has given the franchise assurances he is OK riding out the current drama with Harden, sources said. How long he gives them to resolve the matter remains to be seen,” Shelburne wrote in a September 6 story.

Shelburne added that Tyrese Maxey feels the same way and that both have been in touch with Harden.

“Maxey has done the same, even waiting on a contract extension this summer so the franchise can preserve its ability to operate under the salary cap and improve the team in the future,” Shelburne wrote. “Both have been in touch with Harden throughout, maintaining their personal relationships. Embiid even invited Harden to his wedding in July.”

Nick Nurse Explains Why He Chose Sixers Job

While talking with Beverley, it was revealed that Nurse had a higher-paying job offered to him, but he explained why he chose the Sixers anyway.

“Just thought that the fit was right with me. (I) love the ownership. (I) love my connection with Daryl Morey, the president. Obviously, he was in Houston when I was coaching Rio Grande. Just hear nothing but good things about Josh (Harris) and David (Blitzer), the owners, and obviously, (I) coached against them a lot, and I think it’s a good team. A very good team and some awesome pieces here, so here we are,” Nurse said.

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