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
3 of 3

3. Going Small

Playing multiple guards over wings or wings over centers can be an incredible asset with the right players, but Nurse too often opts for a small lineup at the wrong times. The Sixers should have had an easy win against the Mavericks, but the Sixers began to crumble late in the game with their centerless lineup.

In his five years with the team, the Tobias Harris at-center lineup has never worked.  He is simply not equipped for that role and coaches need to stop trying. Against the Mavericks, the Sixers just needed to get stops and secure the ball, but the Mavericks were able to get to the rim at will and nearly pull off the comeback. These sort of things should not be happening.

It would be one thing if these small lineups facilitated a juggernaut of an offense, but with the available players, this is not the case. KJ Martin has been serviceable as a center in these lineups at times, but considering anyone else in that role should not happen. 

The Sixers do not have amazing options at center with Embiid out. Mo Bamba had one of the worst games you will ever see a player have against the Knicks, but Paul Reed has been incredible the last few weeks. Reed should be getting more minutes even if he has been thriving in his bench role with Bamba starting.

Even when Bamba is having a bad game, he still provides rim protection, length, and shooting that does change how the opposing team operates on offense and defense. Though Bamba may not be actively doing anything, the threat of what he could do is impactful on both ends unlike Tobias Harris or Nicolas Batum at center.