Nick Nurse’s Big Rotation Mistakes

The Sixers have looked dreadful recently. Although this mostly falls on the personnel, it is the coach’s job to get the most out of his roster, and as of late, Nick Nurse is failing to do so.
New Orleans Pelicans v Philadelphia 76ers
New Orleans Pelicans v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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To be clear, Nick Nurse is a brilliant basketball mind and is doing a great job overall. However, nobody is perfect and there are some obvious mistakes he is making. He may have some method to his madness, but it is hard to picture the logic in some of his decisions. Being a creative and adaptive coach is a huge asset, especially in the playoffs. He may just be gathering intel and doing experiments, but the Sixers are in danger of falling to the eighth seed. At some point, regular season wins need to be prioritized.

1. Keeping Tobias Harris as an unquestioned starter

It is hard to put into words how bad Tobias Harris has been. He has been horrendous ever since Embiid went down in every aspect of the game. He cannot be relied upon at all, which is a shame because one would think that Embiid being out would open up his game to the things that he is most comfortable with doing. Regardless of the personnel around him, Tobias has always hated shooting threes, and instead prefers posting up and being a mid-range scorer. Without Embiid, there is a role for that, but Harris has been unable to capitalize.

His struggles have been going on long enough to know it is more than just a cold streak. Putting aside his name recognition and contract, he is playing like a G-league player and looks flat-out lost on the court. It is alarming when he is playing the depleted Grizzlies consisting of mostly G-league players and he actually looks worse than most of them. Kelly Oubre and Nicolas Batum are flat-out better players than Harris and there is no reason Harris should be getting more minutes than them.

The most puzzling part of this is the fact that Nurse is no stranger to benching guys. He was not afraid to bench Batum, Oubre, Buddy Hield, De’Anthony Melton, and Paul Reed, yet Tobias has remained an unquestioned starter throughout it all. The previously mentioned players all had much less severe issues than what Harris is currently going through, and it is not like Tobias Harris is a perennial all-star, he has always been an overpaid role-player and should be treated as such.

There has also been another player that deserves some minutes amidst this abysmal Tobias Harris run which leads to the next point.