Evans Clinchy
Friday April 6th, 2012

The NBA coaching carousel has been in rapid motion this season, as three coaches -- Flip Saunders, Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan -- have bitten the dust already, while rumor has it others like Vinny Del Negro and Stan Van Gundy may not be far behind. But now there's a surprising new name that may soon be on the hot seat -- according to Philadelphia 76ers writer Kate Fagan, the Sixers have recently begun tuning out head coach Doug Collins.

"On more than one occasion, players have let Collins know -- during a game -- that they’re sick of the relentless nitpicking," Fagan writes. "This incessant nagging (or even the perception of it) leads to fractured relationships. The Sixers have reached the point where, at least some of them, have addressed this issue with Collins. Has it reached the point of tuning him out? At times."

It's easy to see why the Sixers have begun the slide downhill this season -- they started off 20-9, looking like one of the best teams in the NBA, and they've since lost 16 of their last 25. They were at one point arguably the NBA's best defensive team, with a stranglehold on the Atlantic Division; they've since slipped defensively and otherwise, and they've slipped to second in the division behind the Boston Celtics.

Despite the difficult stretch the Sixers have endured these last seven weeks, it appears that it's still to early to make a judgment about Collins' future in Philadelphia. "A difficult stretch in the schedule exacerbates everything," Fagan writes. "The Sixers took some losses, things became strained, and now you’re seeing the effects of all of that behind-the-scenes turmoil. It’s manifesting itself in 20 point losses to bad teams. So that’s the 'why' of this last month. The 'what comes next' is still up in the air."

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