Nick Nurse: Getting familiar with the Sixers new Head Coach

Philadelphia 76ers, Nick Nurse - Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia 76ers, Nick Nurse - Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /

On May 29th the Philadelphia 76ers hired Nick Nurse to be their new Head Coach. This hire came just 15 days after their season-ending loss at TD Garden in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Let’s get familiar with the Carroll, Iowa native as he gets ready for his first season leading the Philadelphia 76ers.

Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2011-2013)

Nick Nurse led the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (G-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets) to a championship in 2013. Sixers current president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey served as General Manager for the Houston Rockets at that time and hired Nick Nurse to the position.

Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach (2013-2018)

Leading the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to a championship helped to land Nick Nurse an assistant coaching job with the Toronto Raptors under Dwane Casey. The Raptors made the playoffs in each of the 5 seasons that Nurse served as an assistant. However, they made the Eastern Conference Finals just once in that timespan, falling to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015-16 season.

Toronto Raptors Head Coach (2018-2023)

In June of 2018, the Toronto Raptors promoted Nick Nurse to be their next Head Coach. In just his first season, Nurse led the team to their first NBA Championship. They finished the regular season with a record of 58-24. In the NBA Finals, Toronto beat the Golden State Warriors in 6 games.

Although the team lost Kawhi Leonard to free agency, Nick Nurse won NBA Coach of the Year for the 2019-20 season. The Raptors finished with a record of 53-19, good enough for 2nd in the Eastern Conference.

In just 5 years as Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse became the greatest coach in franchise history. He has the second most wins with 227. He has the franchise’s highest winning percentage of .582. Most notably, he is the only Head Coach to bring an NBA Championship to the city of Toronto.

Toronto Raptors year-by-year

2018-19       58-24       Won NBA Finals

2019-20       53-19       Lost Eastern Conference Semifinals to Boston Celtics

2020-21       27-45

2021-22       48-34       Lost Eastern Conference Round 1 to Philadelphia 76ers

2022-23       41-41       Los in Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament to Chicago Bulls

Offensive & Defensive Efficiency under Nick Nurse

Offensive Efficiency Ranking     

2018-19                       7th

2019-20                      15th

2020-21                      16th

2021-22                      17th

2022-23                      13th

Defensive Efficiency Ranking

2018-19                      4th

2019-20                      2nd

2020-21                     11th

2021-22                     11th

2022-23                     11th

Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach (Present) 

Nick Nurse will make his regular-season debut with the Philadelphia 76ers in just two short weeks. What can we expect? From a schematics standpoint, we know that this team will look different than it did under Doc Rivers for the previous 3 seasons. Will this new culture under Nurse lead to more wins and deeper playoff runs? It is the hope of Sixers fans everywhere that with Nurse at the helm, this team can reach heights they haven’t been to in quite some time.