76ers’ Nick Nurse Opens Up About Joel Embiid’s Return

Nick Nurse, Joel Embiid, 76ers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

A common theme for the Philadelphia 76ers throughout the 2023-24 NBA regular season has been injuries. The biggest one is reigning MVP Joel Embiid being sidelined for a chunk of the season because of a knee injury.

But, the 76ers were able to welcome Embiid back into the lineup on Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. His return could not have come at a better time as Philadelphia was without All-Star point guard Tyrese Maxey for the game.

While it wasn’t always pretty, as it was the first time that Embiid was playing with some of his teammates on the court, the 76ers did come away with a huge 109-105 victory. After the game, head coach Nick Nurse opened up about some of the snags his team ran into but is looking forward to getting Embiid back up to speed.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Joel Embiid, Nick Nurse, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

“There’s certainly got to be that factor of like, what the heck’s going on?” Nurse said after the win. “I mean, when I pulled Kyle into the office before the game to say hey, Joel’s playing, and his first thing was like ‘Man, I don’t know how to play with this dude’ and I’m like, ‘You’ll be alright. You’re gonna be OK out there. Just go out there and play through it and feel your way through the game’. That’s one.”

It will take some time for Embiid to develop chemistry with his teammates again, but he didn’t return in a cupcake matchup. The Thunder are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and the 76ers were playing without Maxey, who missed the game with an ankle issue.

Despite the difficulty of the matchup and having some rust to knock off still, Embiid looked good all things considered. He scored 24 points in 29 minutes with six assists, seven rebounds and three steals.

With their remaining games in the regular season, getting Embiid back into game shape will be priority No. 1 for the 76ers. No matter how many 5-on-5 scrimmages he takes part in, nothing can truly simulate the rigors of an NBA game.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Joel Embiid, Nick Nurse, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

“I would say the biggest challenge is just him continuing to work himself into his type of playing shape,” Tobias Harris added. “I thought tonight (Tuesday) he did a great job of just willing through. He came out there, played in a different type of minutes setting and he was able to just go out there and give us that huge effort that he always brings.”

Philadelphia has six games remaining in the regular season. They kick off a three-game road trip before finishing the season with three games at home. It will be a good chance for Embiid to get back up to speed ahead of whatever lies ahead for the 76ers, whether it is the NBA Play-In Tournament or the postseason.

Want the latest NBA analysis, breaking news, and insider information? Click Here. Follow NBA Analysis Network on Twitter and Facebook.

Interested in reading the latest storylines and analysis in the NFL? Check out our partner NFL Analysis Network.

Knicks’ Head Coach Tom Thibodeau Getting Fed Up With Referees

It was only a week ago that the New York Knicks looked to be in striking position to earn the No. 2 seed in the

NBA Insider Makes Bold Victor Wembanyama Prediction

It feels that every night San Antonio Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama takes the court, he is making NBA history. It is a marvel watching

Luka Doncic Reveals Bold Comparison for Caitlin Clark

The basketball world, including players in the NBA, was locked in on Monday night for the 2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament matchup between LSU and Iowa.