After the Philadelphia 76ers loss to the Orlando Magic 98-84, who happen to have one of the worst records in the NBA, head coach Doug Collins had some words of concern for his team. In a press conference after the game, Collins spoke about his team’s effort, or lack thereof.
“Well I sure didn’t see this effort coming. I thought we played incredibly hard against Miami. I thought we played incredibly hard in New York on Sunday,” said Collins. “And this is mind-numbing to me. We went up 29-20, and from that point on, I couldn’t even tell you what occurred.”
Collins went on to complain about the effort the team was showing at the beginning of the game.
“I looked out there to start the game and three guys weren’t even sweating when we started the game,” said Collins. “They’re going to ease themselves into the game. You’ve gotta get sweaty, you’ve gotta get ready to go.”
Things have spiraled out of control in the city of brotherly love. What a difference a year makes. Last season the 76ers not only made the playoffs, but took the Boston Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Many people looked at that progress as a sign that the 76ers were coming into their own and could possibly “make the leap” this season. We all know what happened next.
They traded away Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets in a 3-team deal, getting Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers. At the time, anyone would’ve done the deal. Pairing a 25-year-old All Star Center with rich young talent in Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, it was a recipe for growing success. But not all that glitters is gold.
We should probably look back to last season again. A huge reason the 76ers could make past the first round of the playoffs was because of the Derrick Rose knee injury suffered in game 1. (Remember those commercials?) Combine that with the injuries to Bynum, Young and Jason Richardson and things could not get any worse in Philly.
His frustration is reaching a boiling point. Not only did he comment on the team’s performance, he criticized the trade for Bynum.
“We made a huge deal and we have nobody playing a part of that deal. How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome,” said Collins.
Could things be coming to an end for Collins? There’s a conception that Collins is a well established coach in the league but look at his track record. He has never coached a team past three seasons. The 76ers and Collins are currently in year three of their dalliance and signs do point to a possible change. Earlier this season, Collins was quoted saying how he hates advanced statistics. When he asked if he was into advanced stats, he was adamant.
“No. If I did that, I’d blow my brains out,” Collins said after a practice earlier in the season. “There’s 20-page printouts after every game – I would kill myself. My analytics are here . . .” Collins quickly pointed to his head. “. . . and here.” He pointed just above the white waistband of his Sixers sweat suit – to his gut.
Here’s the troubling part about this thinking. The league is moving in the direction of advanced stats, where everything is quantified and calculated. Eventually the front office will have to make a decision about what direction the franchise should go. Also the team seems to be lacking motivation for playing hard while Collins has basically given up. Time will tell if this is the end of the line for Collins in Philly.
Here’s the full video of his news conference: