Dancing With Noah

Just messing around, getting triple doubles

I don’t get many Compliments, but I am Confident – Sixers Preview

I can’t quite put a finger or a thumb on it, but I feel like this year’s Philadelphia 76ers are going to improve on last year’s 41-41 record and 7th seed in the playoffs. If I had big ol’, Elton Brand mitts, I bet I could get a better grasp on it, but as it stands, I just have a few ideas sketched out below. These ideas are subject to refutation by fans of the Pacers, Bucks, Knicks, Bobcats or anyone else who stands to gain from Philly failure.

Where to begin with the squad housed in the City of Brotherly Love, the home of the (Legendary) Roots Crew and formerly the greatest court in league history? Let’s start with Coach Doug Collins who’s played, coached and commentated on the league since 1973. I was aware of Doug’s reputation as somewhat of a fixer-upper of a coach, but didn’t realize how serious it was until I took a look at his career performance as a coach:

Coach Season Team W L Win Change
Stan   Albeck 1985-86 Bulls

30

52

N/A

Doug   Collins 1986-87 Bulls

40

42

+10

Doug   Collins 1987-88 Bulls

50

32

+10

Don Chaney 1994-95 Pistons

28

52

N/A

Doug   Collins 1995-96 Pistons

46

36

+18

Doug   Collins 1996-97 Pistons

54

28

+8

Leonard   Hamilton 2000-01 Wizards

19

63

N/A

Doug   Collins 2001-02 Wizards

37

45

+18

Doug   Collins 2002-03 Wizards

37

45

0

Eddie   Jordan 2009-10 Sixers

27

55

N/A

Doug   Collins 2010-11 Sixers

41

41

+14

Doug   Collins 2011-12 Sixers

?

?

?

How great would it be to see Doug Collins host an NBA version of This Old House where he takes a poorly managed or neglected roster and walks us through the remodeling job? I’d watch for sure. Back to the straight dope…I’d be intentionally deceiving you if I didn’t recognize injuries and acquisitions played a role in Collins’s ability to turn a loser into a winner. The cynic might say he’s just savvy at accepting the right jobs at the right time (kind of like Red Auerbach trying to poo poo Phil Jackson’s rings) and that may be the case. But given his nearly 40 years of experience in the NBA and irrefutable successes, I would passionately disagree with those cynics.

Collins runs his team like a basketball communal. Eight players played between 21 and 37 minutes per night and six of those eight averaged double digit points with Brand leading the way at 15. Everyone contributed and did so at different positions which added to their versatility. If Evan Turner is able to develop his offensive skills and maturity and start at the two, they’ll have a pair of strong ball-handling, multi-dimensional wings to play alongside the most captivating player on the team and the primary reason I expect the Doug Collins magic to continue: Jrue Holiday: A 6’3” point guard who’s only 21, rebounds well for his position, started all 82 games last year, consistently funked up defenders with a compact spin move and has tremendous feel for the game. Part of me thinks it’s a shame that the majority of casual or local NBA fans live in the darkness when it comes to the ways of the Jrue. But then I think about it a little more and in a world where we’re saturated to the center of our beings with nonstop information to the point that we’re stressed out, anxious and distracted, I’m thankful for the truths that have yet to be mass-marketed, consumed, regurgitated and then demanded a trade…I’m thankful for Jrue Holiday.

With the natural blends of youth (Holiday, Turner, Lou Williams and maybe Thad Young and Spencer Hawes), experience (Andre Iguodala) and wisdom (Brand and Collins), and a core group that includes six to eight of their top producers from last year, Philly’s ready for organic growth and progression.

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