East Notes: Sixers, Nick Nurse, Raptors, Hawks


New coach Nick Nurse indicated the Sixers will need to change their mindset and approach after losing in the second round of the playoffs for three straight years.

“It was the same in Toronto, we hadn’t played that well, and certain players hadn’t played that well, and all those kinds of things. The reality is that’s the truth,” Nurse said, via Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice. “So I would imagine from day one, we’re gonna talk about that, and we’re gonna try to attack that, we’re gonna have to, we have to face it. We’re gonna have to rise above it. That’s the mentality part I think you’re going to have to take.

“And then there’s all kinds of other things. Can we tactically do things, can we adjust on the fly, can we improve as the season goes on?…you want to keep getting better, and then you get to the playoffs and you’re one team, that’s a two-month-long journey. You got to be better at the end of those two months.”

  • Nurse was diplomatic in discussing standout guard James Harden, who is expected to test free agency. “I would say this, James has a decision to make, and I’d be very happy if he came back,” Nurse said, via Neubeck.
  • Nurse added that winning tends to cure all. “I think that winning is always the sell. Can we be good enough to win it all?” he said. “That’s got to be a goal of his, and if it is, then (Harden) should stay here and play for us, because I think there’s a possibility of that.”


  • The Raptors have shown interest in Barcelona coach Sarunas Jasikevicius for their coaching vacancy, per Marc Stein of The Stein Line.
  • This may not come as a big surprise. As Stein noted, the Raptors had an interest in Jasikevicius before they hired Nurse back in 2018.
  • As we relayed here, Toronto also reportedly has an interest in Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic among their coaching candidates.
  • Not much else is known about the search, as the Raptors have kept things tight to the vest.


The Hawks are hosting six prospects for a pre-draft workout on Friday, per Lauren L. Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They are as follows:

Pepperdine forward Maxwell Lewis; TCU guard Mike Miles Jr.; Iowa forward Kris Murray; North Carolina forward Pete Nance; Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper; and Belmont guard Ben Sheppard.

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