Sixers Notes: Depth, Newcomers, Embiid, Maxey, Harden

The Sixers look like one of the league’s deepest teams and have a “different vibe” this season under new head coach Nick Nurse, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The other day at practice, we had three teams out, running through the plays,” Tobias Harris said. “We were on the sidelines, me, Joel [Embiid] and Tyrese [Maxey] were saying like we have 15 guys who can be in the rotation. With that means a lot of responsibility with guys just being professional and ready.”

As Pompey notes, newcomers Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington were in the rotation during Wednesday’s victory over Boston, with Batum part of the closing group.

Forward Marcus Morris, another newcomer acquired in the James Harden trade, has only played six minutes in one appearance this season. Nurse said he hopes to get a better look at the veteran forward (Twitter video link via Pompey).

I want to see him, definitely,” Nurse said. “I still think he’s got a spot in the rotation. He of all the people has played the least, so it’s just a little trickier with him. Just kind of waiting for our moment to give him a chance and see how he looks out there.”

Here are a few more notes out of Philly:

  • Gina Mizell of The Philadephia Inquirer (subscriber link) details how the four players acquired in the Harden deal — Batum, Covington, Morris and KJ Martin — have quickly acclimated to their new team. They’ve been going through film sessions, walk-throughs and scrimmages, with player development assistant Rico Hines leading the way. “It’s totally been a village in here,” Hines told Mizell, “with everybody helping [those players] get accustomed to whatever we’re trying to get accomplished. We’ve got a big picture in mind, and that’s what we’re trying to do. Just get a little better every day. Those guys see that. They feel that.”
  • After the Sixers defeated Boston on Wednesday and claimed the top spot in the East, reigning MVP Joel Embiid said the team has “a long way to go” but is “on the right path,” writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “There’s so many things that could’ve been better today,” Embiid said. “Taking care of the ball. Missed quite a few shots. Tyrese, he missed a lot of shots that he’s been making. We were not as efficient as we’ve been. But it happens. But, then again, I also like the effort and the intensity defensively, just being together, following the game plan.”
  • Maxey has repeatedly mentioned how much he appreciated James Harden as a mentor and teammate. Harden’s fondness for Maxey is quite evident as well, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “He works extremely hard; good things are definitely going to come his way,” Harden said. “He listens, he puts the work in, as a young guy in this league that’s all you can ask for. As he gets more reps at that scoring, play-making role, he’ll figure things out, you know, in a good way, how different teams are gonna guard him. I’m extremely and overly proud of him; he gets an opportunity to showcase his game. … I know he’s gonna have a really good year.”
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