May 12, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins reacts against the Boston Celtics during the second half of game one in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
The Sixers are kind of the opposite of the Celtics in many respects. The Celtics have their choice of guys that are battle tested and know how to win games (and did for years before finding each other in 2008). The Sixers don't have that luxury. That is a major reason why the Celtics buckled down and won game 1 while the Sixers came apart at the seems and lost.
A big question mark going into this series, though, was if Philly’s playmakers – Iguodala, Turner and Williams — could come through down the stretch. Saturday night, the answer was no. The three combined to go 2-for-10 from the field in the fourth quarter. And, as their shooting touch failed them, none were able to get to the foul line. Williams had a shot blocked, Iguodala had two of his sent the other way, and both had turnovers in critical moments. Most telling is that not one 76er scored more than four points in the fourth quarter. "That’s sort of the sign of a team that’s trying to grow and figure out what it is to play this kind of championship basketball in the NBA playoffs," Collins said.
To hear Michael Levin tell it, you can also put the blame on the head coach himself.
Doug says things like "I don't know what else I could have done" but that's ridiculous. Doug, you stop giving the ball to Lou Williams and letting him do whatever he wants with it. You don't play Hawes 34 minutes when he's a liability in 2 of the 3 major areas on the court. You don't play Thad when he's been terrible for weeks and he's nursing a sprained ankle. But he did them, and the Sixers lost. I like Collins as a person and as a motivator, but his in-game coaching is seriously lacking. At the end of the day, it's the players that play. But Lavoy Allen can't box out from the bench, and Lou Williams can't take embarrassingly rushed three pointers if he's riding the pine. You never blame one person for a loss or a win, but as far as majority shares go, this one's on Doug.
That's another contrast for you. Doc was busy helping his team win with critical clock management while (at least according to one blogger) Doug was busy blowing it with poor rotations.
But things can change in a heartbeat and winning has a way of turning coaches from goats into greats - right Bill Simmons? So let's hope that Levin is right and that the Sixers really just aren't ready to hang with the Celtics. In other words, more of the same tonight please. (though maybe with a better start)