Collins laments 76ers’ lack of scoring
The 76ers were done in by Boston point guard Rajon Rondo in losing Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series to the Celtics on Saturday night, 85-75. But they were also done in by their own anemic offense.
The Sixers’ point total and shooting percentage (35.0) were series lows, and they made just 27.8 percent of their 3-point attempts.
For coach Doug Collins, it was the continuation of a trend. The Sixers averaged just 93.6 points a game during the regular season, equaling the 22nd-best output in the NBA, and shot 44.8 percent from the field, which was 15th.
“I thought if we could get 85 (points) today, we could win,” he said. “It’s just our inability to score that has sort of plagued us throughout the season.”
The Sixers never led after the first quarter but were within three, 71-68, when one of Boston’s biggest guns, Paul Pierce, fouled out with 4:16 left in the game.
But Rondo, who fashioned his ninth career playoff triple-double (18 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds), scored the next nine Celtics points, and had 11 down the stretch. Never known as a great shooter, he nailed a long jumper from the left wing to push the Boston advantage to 75-68 with 2:47 left, and he added a 3-pointer from the opposite wing on the next Celtics possession to make it a 10-point game.
That was more than enough to keep the punchless Sixers at bay.
“I sit over on that bench and you don’t know how I agonize about what I can do to help get us a basket,” Collins said. “It’s just been a nightmare for us to try to score.”
The Sixers figure to have a busy offseason. Starting center Spencer Hawes will be an unrestricted free agent, and sixth man Lou Williams, the team’s leading scorer, is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract. Other players could be on the move as well.
“We have to add some more pieces,” Collins said. “This team will not be the same team next year. That’s the nature of sports.”