By Ben Golliver
Sixers coach Doug Collins directly questioned his team's commitment, pre-game intensity and accountability in a 10-minute address following a 98-84 loss to the Magic in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Collins' laundry list of critical comments included specific digs at the rebounding tallies of Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen and general statements about his team's lack of focus after the All-Star break and their lax approach to their pre-game routines. Collins also sounded off on the fallout from the Sixers' blockbuster trade for Andrew Bynum, who hasn't played this season due to knee injuries, expressing frustration at the rotation players lost for "nothing in return" during the move. He also repeatedly asked his players to "take ownership" of the team's situation.
“I looked out there to start the game, three guys weren’t even sweating when we started the game! They were going to ease themselves into the game. You’ve got to get sweaty. You’ve got to be ready to go.”
“If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did, this world would be a CAT scan. OK? Believe me, there’s not two days go by that I don’t go to Rod [Thorn], I don’t go to Tony [DiLeo], ‘What can I do? Can I do anything different? How can I be a better coach? How can I be a better leader? How can I help these guys?’
“We made a huge deal. And we have nobody playing as part of that deal. How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nik Vucevic, and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome, right? That’s just the facts. I’m not looking for any out. But that’s the facts. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer had one. I think Lavoy [Allen] had two.”
Philadelphia is currently in the No. 10 spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 22-23. The Sixers now reside in the Atlantic Division's basement after losing six straight games. Collins, 61, received a one-year contract extension that carries his deal through the 2013-14 season back in October. If he returns next season, it would mark the first time in his coaching career that he's lasted for more than three seasons with the same team. His previous stops include Chicago, Detroit and Washington.