Doug Collins says 76ers need to compete
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
Not as garrulous as he was after Tuesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins’ disposition remained the same.
“Guys have to keep playing hard and keep competing. That’s all,” Collins told USA TODAY Sports in a brief phone conservation before the 76ers’ team plane left for Chicago. The Sixers will play the Bulls at 8 p.m. Thursday on TNT.
Collins’s comments came one day after he expressed disappointment and frustration in his team’s effort and energy in the 98-84 loss to the Magic. It was Philadelphia’s sixth consecutive loss, and it gnawed at Collins’ competitive nature.
In his postgame press conference, Collins couldn’t understand why his team played the way it did.
“This is mind-numbing to me. We went up 29-20, and from that point on, I couldn’t even tell you what occurred,” he told reporters.
He added: “I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the break to come back to play.”
Collins said he talks often with President Rod Thorn and general manager Tony DiLeo to see what more he can to become a better coach.
“If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did,” Collins said, “this world would be a CAT scan. … Sometimes you’ve got to help yourself.”
While trying to make clear he wasn’t blaming anyone, Collins said, “They say it’s a players’ league. Well, then, take ownership.”
It has a been a disappointing season for the Sixers, who are 22-33 and five games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Compounding the misery is the absence of center Andrew Bynum who has not played this season with knee problems – after the Sixers acquired him from the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster trade in August. It remains a possibility that Bynum leaves the Sixers after the season in free agency, and Philadelphia will have little to show for a trade that sent Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets and Nic Vucevic to the Orlando Magic.
On Wednesday, Collins at least saw positives.
“We’ve shown that we can play very good basketball,” Collins said. “We play some very good minutes against … [For more on Doug Collins says 76ers need to compete, click here.]