Can Nick Nurse Sixers Back to Health?

Maybe Sixers owner Josh Harris should put a hole in the roof at the Wells Fargo Center.

And why is that?

So God can watch his team!

For it is rather obvious what NFL team serves as a role model for Harris and the Sixers — and it isn't Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman of the Eagles.

So who is it?

Answer: Jerry Jones.

On January 5, 2020, seven days after the Cowboys had finished the 2019 regular season at 8-8, head coach Jason Garrett was fired by Jones, despite having gone 87-70 in nine and a half seasons with "America's Team."

Two days after Garrett's firing, Mike McCarthy, who had won Super Bowl XLV with Green Bay (2010 season), was hired to replace Garrett even though Jones had correctly observed that no head coach that had won a Super Bowl with a previous team had ever subsequently won a Super Bowl with another team.

Which brings us to the Sixers.

After firing Brett Brown following the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, in which the Sixers finished 43-30 but were then swept in four games by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs (Brown had gone 233-358 in seven seasons as the team's head coach), Philadelphia hired Glenn "Doc" Rivers, who had won an NBA championship in 2007-08 during his nine-year stint in Boston.

In Rivers' three years in Philadelphia, the Sixers were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals in all three of them, extending the team's streak of seasons without an appearance in the conference championship series to 22 — five short of the 27-year conference championship game drought of the Cowboys.

Enter Nick Nurse.

Not only does Nurse, too, have a ring, but he got it on the first try, leading the Raptors to an NBA title in 2018-19, his first season as a head coach.

In 2019-20, Toronto went 53-19 during the abbreviated regular season, but was upset by Boston in the conference semifinals. The Raptors missed the playoffs altogether in 2020-21, lost in the first round to the Sixers in 2021-22, then got upset in a play-in game by Chicago this season, leading to Nurse's firing on April 21. He was hired to succeed Rivers in Philadelphia on June 1.

There is even a linkage between the Cowboys and the Sixers when it comes to unfair playoff procedures: in 2014, the Cowboys, Packers, and Seahawks all finished 12-4 — and in that regular season, the Cowboys beat the Seahawks and the Seahawks beat the Packers (the Cowboys and Packers did not play each other that season), meaning that Dallas was 1-0 head-to-head among the three tied teams, Seattle was 1-1, and Green Bay was 0-1.

One would think that Dallas would have earned the top playoff seed on this basis, with Seattle seeded second and Green Bay third. But due to a totally unfair change in the tie-breaking procedures approved in 1978, in a three-way tie, one team would henceforth need to have beaten both of the other two teams head-to-head in order to carry the tie-breaker.

Instead, Seattle, Green Bay, and Dallas were seeded in that order because Seattle was 10-2 within the conference, Green Bay was 9-3, and Dallas was 8-4 — leading to the controversy of whether Dez Bryant made that catch in a divisional playoff game that as a result was played at Lambeau Field, in which the kickoff-time temperature was 24 degrees, with a wind chill of 17.

This spring, the Sixers were similarly jobbed, because the NBA does not re-seed its playoff teams after the first round. Had the league done this, Philadelphia would have played the Knicks, with home-court advantage, in the conference semifinals, instead of the Celtics, without home-court advantage, as they actually did.

And neither the Dallas Cowboys nor the Philadelphia 76ers would have to go into next season with these huge monkeys on their backs.

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